See Lupita Nyong'o On MTV — WAY Before She Was Famous

Yes, now Lupita Nyong'o is everyone's darling. She may even be elbowing JLawr aside in our hearts (kidding, we have room for both). But, of course, this is a relatively new development. Back in 2008, before she hit the Yale School of Drama, she tested her already considerable skills on MTV. True, it was MTV Kenya, but nonetheless, she had a leading role on a Viacom production.
What we've got here is the first full episode of Shuga a sharp, provocative show set in Kenya's capital of Nairobi. Nyong'o plays Ayira, a waitress hustling to rise up the social ladder — and we do mean hustling. The series was part of MTV Kenya's Staying Alive Ignite! initiative, a series of shows and announcements that tried to take sex in the age of the African AIDS crisis seriously. Here, Nyong'o's character flirts with whomever she wants, whenever she wants, using her brains and beauty to create a better life for herself. The character verges on unsympathetic, which is thrilling to watch — especially since Lupita seems so likable in her real-life post-Oscar glow. Even at 25, she absolutely had the audience in the palm of her hand.
Click below for proof that this young actor has been a star waiting to be found for years.

More from Movies

In the upcoming indie sci-fi flick Crossbreed, Vivica A. Fox will play a president who sends war veterans on a mission to retrieve an alien whose DNA is ...
Have you ever re-watched an old movie and cringed? Maybe you were watching Breakfast at Tiffany's and Mickey Rooney's overtly racist Asian stereotype ...
A few months ago, I found myself riveted by an appearance Melissa Harris-Perry made on Real Time With Bill Maher. Harris-Perry had recently left her show...
The 1960s never seemed creepier than in Rose McGowan’s haunting short film, Dawn (2014). McGowan, whose long acting résumé includes roles on TV megahits ...
The miracle and the curse of Netflix are one and the same: There is so much damn stuff to watch. In fact, if you're not sure exactly what you're looking ...
As if winning an Oscar wasn't enough, actress Lupita Nyong'o just proved that she has another talent under her belt: freestyle rapping. The 33-year-old ...
There are few movies that just beg to be parodied more than Fifty Shades of Grey. But High School Musical comes pretty darn close. In case you haven't ...
This month, many 15-year-olds are just getting in the back-to-school swing of things. But Auli'i Cravalho's schedule is a little bit different: The teen ...
Growing up is hard to do. Before "adulting" — that is, clumsily impersonating our role models and pretending we have our lives together — became a buzzword...
Every once in a while, a documentary comes out and changes the world. For 2016, 13th is destined to do just that. A film from notable director, ...
For women, Star Wars costumes used to mean one thing: Princess Leia. There were variations within the theme — Danish side-bun Leia, Hoth Leia, gold-bikini-...
As long as Harry Potter fans keep rewatching the beloved movies, they'll keep finding new reasons the series will make you cry. The latest discovery? Harry...
The documentary world can be overwhelming. Think of a topic — broad or obscure — and very likely a movie has probably been made about it. Biographies, ...
Luna Lovegood is one of the most memorable characters from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. Later, the eccentric character was brought to life by the ...