Black actress Lupita Nyong’o went from near-anonymity to tremendous celebrity after she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar earlier this month for her role in 12 Years a Slave. Since her win, she’s been interviewed dozens of times, seen her fashion style analyzed and been praised for her grace and beauty.
With the celebrity has come an interest in her love life and now Nyong’o is the subject of media speculation and gossip about who she may be dating.
Rumors circulated after she and Jared Leto were seen canoodling at recent appearances that they were a couple. The gossip was exacerbated by Leto calling Nyong’o his “future ex-wife” during his acceptance speech at the Independent Spirit Awards on March 1, according to media reports.
Now, the rumor mill has tied her to Somalian rapper K’Naan.
On March 3, the day after Nyong’o won her Oscar, she was photographed in New York City with K’Naan. The two were seen together in Manhattan outside the studio where she appeared on the talk show “Live! With Kelly and Michael,” according to news reports.
Newsday.com said that Nyong’o and K'Naan “appeared to be affectionate in the photos.” The pictures were soon uploaded to the Internet, and showed K’naan and Nyong’o embracing for the paparazzi while he held her Oscar.
Us Weekly magazine reported on March 12 that the two have been dating since September.
K’Naan, 36, whose real name is Keinan Abdi Warsame, was born in Somalia and raised in Toronto. Us Weekly reported that he has two sons from a previous marriage to Deqa Warsame, a pharmacy technician. He moved to Toronto with his parents as a young child.
Reps for neither Nyong’o nor K’Naan have confirmed the relationship.
Nyong’o, 31, who was born in Mexico City and raised in Kenya, won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Patsey in the historical drama 12 Years a Slave. The movie, which also won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, was based on Solomon Northup’s 1853 memoir of his experience as a free Black man from New York who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C. and enslaved.