Lupita Nyong’o speaks Spanish to celebrate Laughter Day on Mexico’s ‘Sesame Street’


Did you know that the Mexican franchise of Sesame Street is called Plaza Sésamo? I realize that’s a direct translation, but I guess I thought that the Spanish-language countries would just call it Sesame Street. I watched a wonderful documentary about Sesame Street franchise start-ups in various countries a few years ago, so I don’t know why I’m so surprised that they translate it into the host country’s language.

Anyway, there’s a Mexican franchise and it’s called Plaza Sésamo, and Lupita Nyong’o appeared on it. Lupita was born in Mexico when her family lived there for her father’s diplomatic work, but she was raised in Kenya. She’s also said that her family sent her back to Mexico at some point (I think when she was a teenager) to learn Spanish. This is all build-up for Lupita speaking Spanish on Plaza Sésamo. She’s helping kids celebrate Laughter Day!

The translation: “Hello, I’m Lupita. Today I want us to celebrate Laughter Day. Do you know how to laugh? Why don’t we laugh together? Ready, 1, 2, 3! [Laugh].” My goodness, she has the best laugh. Why isn’t she appearing on American Sesame Street too?!

As for Lupita’s future gigs, Vulture caught up with her at Cannes when she attended an event sponsored by Calvin Klein last week. In between gushing about the coffee mug a publicist sent her and raving about Jessie Ware, Lupita told Vulture that “my lips are sealed” about her one and only post-Oscar role in The Jungle Book. No one knows if it’s going to be animated or if it will be mo-cap or what. Sigh. Please, Hollywood, find Lupita some work. Please don’t let Lupita get J-Law’d.


Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet and Lupita’s IG.

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40 Responses to “Lupita Nyong’o speaks Spanish to celebrate Laughter Day on Mexico’s ‘Sesame Street’”

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  1. Ollyholly says:

    What do you mean get JLaw’d? Have a successful career and whatever script she wants?

    That doesn’t seem to be Lupita’s problem.

  2. lower-case deb says:

    that’s a very Elmo laugh!

  3. Maxine7 says:

    Note to Brad Pitt. Stop throwing beers in NOLA and handle this! That is all.

  4. Dani2 says:

    She has the prettiest laugh lol, I just want her career to pick up the pace already, I’d love to see her in something other than 12 Years a Slave.

  5. Tatjana says:

    Why did they send her to Mexico to learn Spanish? Couldn’t she learn it in Kenya?

    She’s so pretty.

    • Kiki says:

      Is it a problem for you she went to Mexico?

    • Dash says:

      Probably not that many native Spanish speakers in Kenya!

    • Mena says:

      Total immersion is one of the best ways to learn a language. A lot of language program offer study abroad trips so that you speak the langiage with natives, and are.forced to use it. It really works. A friend of mine spent time in Costa Rica and Mexico and his Spanish is near flawless. I am Dominican and Spanish is my first language and I can say Lupita’s Spanish is great, I can only detect a very slight accent. Living in Mexico probably helped with her fluency.

      She is just so pretty…the absolute definition of pretty.

    • harpreet says:

      Because she wanted to go back and learn Spanish, it is a great opportunity, especially for a high-schooler.

    • african woman says:

      there are no Spanish schools in east africa

    • Ennie says:

      Why do many (rich) kids get sent overseas during their education?
      In my country (Mexico), the richer children get sent , usually during middle school, to the US or Canada for a year to learn the language, and I assure you that there are lots of English language schools here. The thing is not just to learn the language, but to experience the culture.
      Besides learning a language when you are young is an excellent thing, traveling also when you are young makes people more capable of adapting to different cultures and environments, and more independent too.
      She came to Mexico also probably because her father has connections to the biggest and best University in the country, which has an excellent program for Spanish for foreigners, besides being a very beautiful country.
      The time when she came here, 14, 15 years ago was also much much safer. tnx to the drug violence it is harder on the tourism in some parts, but there are still lots of foreigners coming to certain areas.
      This is Taxco, where Lupita studied in case anyone is curious.

    • gefeylich says:

      She undoubtedly could have learned Spanish in Kenya, but not immersively, and not in the country of her birth. I think her parents wanted her to know the culture into which she was born. That’s nice.

      Her accent is flawless. She’s so damn lovely and this video is sweet.

    • lrm says:

      Actually, I went to school in Kenya for a year and a half [college-american school with a campus there at that time], in Nairobi. Coincidentally, I took 3 quarters of spanish there, with a teacher who was the colombian wife of a kenyan. The largest kenyan tribe -Kikuyu-who also hail from the nairobi region-do not have the letter ‘R’ in their language, making spanish with its rolling Rrrr’s very difficult to learn. Most of the class struggled. We had a lot of laughs. But there are not many Spanish speakers living in east africa-so I didn’t have much opportunity to use what I learned.

      And let’s just say, um, no, you would not go to kenya to learn spanish, even without that letter ‘R’ difficulty!Not many Spanish schools/speakers in africa as a whole. Or the middle east. Or Asia. Maybe classes on the internet-but it’s not like a third world country such as kenya with a small population overall, is brimming with foreign language schools. The French cultural center there has classes and french speakers are pretty popular-especially with lots of refugees and immigrants from other parts of africa.

      But, there are at least 54 tribes in Kenya and all have their own languages. Swahili, along with English, was made one of the national languages, but that’s actually a coastal language, running from kenya down to mozambique. Not all kenyans speak swahili and relatively few speak it completely fluently.

      From her last name, I think Lupita may be of Luo tribe, just as a curiosity comment. I haven’t researched which would take like 8 seconds to do-lol-so i might be wrong. And obviously she calls herself Kenyan-but tribal identity is still important in Kenya-similar to being from a certain region of the USA or a certain state. Cultural traits and comforts and all…

  6. maybeiamcrazy says:

    I wish she would get J.Law’d and have successful projects lined up for foreseeable future.

  7. Dhavynia says:

    Wow her Spanish is really good, you can barely hear an accent. I’m glad she’s doing this in MX. I haven’t seen the movie yet (I’m ashamed, yes) but she’s so likable that I’m looking forward to it

  8. Hmmm says:

    I just love her, she is such a breath of fresh air. I don’t think her Jungle Book role was confirmed jet, but I guess if she wasn’t the front runner her name wouldn’t have been mentioned at all. Fingers crossed, I would love to see her work with Favs.

  9. Tania says:

    Oh my I thought she signed a movie called southpaw with Rachel mcadams?

  10. Wilma says:

    I would watch her in anything. Twelve years a slave proved she can act her ass off and she has totally shown amazing charisma. I really think she could tackle any role. It would be good if the default casting for any part wasn’t white, just mix it up casting people! We won’t mind, the world is so much more multicultural than a lot of films and tv-shows!

  11. Naomi says:

    Lupita’s appearance on the Mexican version could increase public awareness to a large portion of the Spanish speaking world. This may encourage opportunities for international collaborations because the language will not be an issue.

  12. QQ says:

    The fact her Spanish is mexican accented and she had an interview in spanish with Univision and said “Hijole” Like a Native still makes my entire life

    Yes I grew up watching Plaza Sesamo

  13. LadySlippers says:

    No love for her non-matchy, non-bridesmaidy shoes? I don’t like anything else in that pic that was posted but felt compelled to give her shoes a shout-out! 😉

    Love love love that she was on Plaza Sésamo!