Lupita Nyong'o talks Sulwe and why it's important for girls to 'see dark skin in a beautiful light'

"This book is my dream come true."
"This book is my dream come true."

Representation and more specifically, equal representation, has been and continues to be a significant element of a continually evolving society.

Science argues that people often organise their perspective of the world and their reality through representation.

These representations are often arranged in a way so that people can make certain connotations when they see or hear something familiar and express how they identify with a subject.

Sadly for many, seeing themselves represented in a positive light is often in short supply.

Set on creating a relatable world for people of colour, and more specifically, dark-skinned girls, Academy award-winning actress, Lupita Nyong'o has proudly penned a 48-paged children's book titled, Sulwe.

The title of the book derives from her native language, Luo, and is translated as star in English.

Lupita first dropped news of her upcoming project back in April which is set to be released 15 October 2019.

Also see: Find free resources for little readers in our STORYTIME hub! 

In a recent Instagram-post, Nyong'o shared a picture of her 5-year-old self and reflected on how she had many windows into other people's lives but not really had any mirrors reflecting darker-skinned people like herself.

She continues to write, "#Sulwe holds up a mirror for dark-skinned children especially, to see themselves reflected immediately, and it is a window for all the others to cherish peering into."

The book places its focus on a young girl named Sulwe, who finds herself on a journey exploring her unique beauty and identity.

The summary of the book describes Sulwe's skin colour as midnight, darker than all her family members and anyone she goes to school with.

Sulwe wants to be beautiful and bright (read light) like her mother and sister until a remarkable journey changes her perspective.

Nyong' o says, "I imagined what it would have been like for this little girl to turn the pages of her picture books and see dark skin in a beautiful light.

This book is my dream come true for kids like her today." 

Chat back:

Share your story with us, and we could publish your mail. 

Sign up for Parent24's newsletters.

Read more:

Unlock the power of a library from your phone

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
6% - 325 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
82% - 4088 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
12% - 591 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.