Polyglot Lupita Nyong’o Taps Into Her Language Skills In "Wakanda Forever"

Born in Mexico to Kenyan parents, Lupita Nyong’o had the opportunity to draw from both sides of her heritage for Wakanda Forever. In that, she reprises her role as Nakia, a spy and strategist.

Nyong’o’s real- life polyglot skills came in handy in both Black Panther films.

According to Black Enterprise, “Nyong’o is no stranger to multilingualism in the Marvel franchise, including Korean. Now, she’s raving about the opportunity to speak Spanish on screen.”

In Black Panther (2018), Nakia’s ability to speak Korean grants her, T’Challa and Okoye access to a hidden and exclusive casino, where they encounter Klaue and his cronies.

You’ll have to see Wakanda Forever to learn of Nakia’s relevance to the plot.

She's Always Had A Knack For Languages

In 2014, Nyong’o told CNN she was born in Mexico and lived there for three years.

She came of age in Kenya, and returned to Mexico as a teenager to hone her Spanish skills.

While there, Nyong’o learned Spanish at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México’s Learning Center for Foreigners.

Black Enterprise reports, “she spent seven months learning how to be a fluent Spanish speaker.”

She also speaks two African languages, Swahili and Luo.

Speaking Spanish In Wakanda Forever Was Meaningful

In Wakanda Forever, Nyong’o dips in and out of English, Wakandan and bits of Yucatec Mayan.

But having the chance to showcase her Spanish skills was a dream come true.

“I’ve always wanted to work in Spanish,” she said. “Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that opportunity would come.”

 

Wakanda Forever Was Personal

The death of Chadwick Boseman was felt by the entire cast. There was no need to manufacture grief.

It therefore makes sense that Wakanda Forever has a decidedly somber tone.

But for Nyong’o, there is also cause to celebrate.

“For me, this film represents different sides of my heritage,” she said. “Being born in Mexico and having that Mesoamerican culture represented, it’s something that’s very close to me.”

 

 

 

Wakanda Forever Is Earning Rave Reviews

Marvel has triumphed yet again at the box office. But Wakanda Forever is so much more than just a superhero movie.

Yes, it’s escapism in a lot of ways, but some of it is grounded in reality.

According to The Hollywood Reporter,  “Wakanda Forever launched to a record $180 million domestically over the Nov. 11-13 weekend and $330 million globally, despite the fact that the sequel had to proceed without Chadwick Boseman.”