Lupita Nyong’o’s award-winning performance as Patsey in Steve McQueen’s “12 Years A Slave” may very well have a connection to the actress’ family lineage, according to her father Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o.

During a recent interview with British newspaper, The Independent, the senior Kenyan politician revealed details on how his family once experienced a string of abuse and torture due to their opposition from the regime of then-Kenyan president, Daniel arap Moi. The Nyong’o family’s firm stance towards the East African country’s government resulted in the attack and disappearance of Lupita’s uncle, Charles Nyong’o in 1980.

“Even now, no information has come to light. I know he was on a ferry in Mombasa and witnesses who I managed to talk to told me clearly that it was not an accident and he had been attacked and pushed off the ferry,” Peter said to the newspaper. “But the witnesses were too terrified to testify to the police… I spoke to members of the Kenyan Special Branch and someone informed me that they knew what happened. They were not willing to help in any way whatsoever because of that.”

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