Both parents are of Kenyan heritage, although she was born in Mexico
Lupita Amondi Nyongo'o was born on the 1st of March 1983 in Mexico City, Mexico into the family of Dorothy and Peter Anyang' Nyong'o. Her parents were in political exile at the time of her birth, but were able to return to their homeland of Kenya during their daughter's childhood. Her father later became part of the country's senate while her mother, who worked in family planning, took a leadership position with the Africa Cancer Foundation. Lupita is the second of six children. Since it was tradition in Mexico to name a child after the events of the day, Lupita received a Mexican name. At age 16, her parents sent her back to Mexico for seven months to learn Spanish. During those seven months, Nyong'o lived in Taxco, Guerrero, and took classes at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México's Learning Center for Foreigners. Her family was later forced to leave Kenya because of political unrest. Her uncle, Charles Nyong'o, disappeared after he was thrown off a ferry-boat in 1980.