Lupita Nyong'o: "I Say I'm a Mexi-Kenyan"

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A heated debate has raged for weeks about Academy Award winning actress Lupita Nyong'o's identity. The Mexican-born star was raised in Kenya and college-educated in the United States, but she returned to Mexico in her teenage years to study Spanish. 

Is she Mexican? Mexican-Kenyan? Is she Latina? Can we claim her as our own? 

Well, the 12 Years a Slave cleared up the confusion at a press conference at the Toronto International Film Festival back in September.

When a journalist from Mexico City asked her about her heritage, she answered, "Yes, I was born in Mexico, but I moved to Kenya where my family is from before I turned one. I grew up in Kenya, but my parents sent me back to Mexico to learn Spanish when I was 16. So, I did spend some time in Mexico in my adolescence. Then, I came to study in the U.S. So, of course, I have a special place for Mexico in my heart. It's my birthplace."

She continued later, "I say I'm a Mexi-Kenyan!" 

So, there you have it. Lupita is in a whole league of her own, and has created a unique identity to fit her unusual background: she's a Mexi-Kenyan.

Watch the clip below! Skip ahead to the 16:00 minute mark to hear her statements: 

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Cristina Arreola, Associate Editor

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