In case you need another reason to love Lupita N’yongo, the Oscar nominee made an Instagram video this month where she teaches us how to pronounce her name. While I take pride in the fact that I looked that up as soon as I saw 12 Years A Slave last fall, I’m surprised how many people are still struggling with it. As well as how often it seems to come up in interviews for her.
Considering that her name’s going to be on everyone’s lips for the next month or so, this is kinda required viewing. For Ryan Seacrest as well as your friends who have taken to just calling her Lupita in lieu of butchering her last name. After all, remember how much second hand embarrassment we all got last year when people paid to talk to celebrities refused to learn how to pronounce Quvenzhané Wallis’ name. I’m getting deju vu cringes just thinking about it.
As someone with a misspelled first name and shockingly hard to pronounce last name, I completely understand why Lupita felt the need to do this. I can’t even tell you how many people insist on adding an extra syllable into my last name. And then proceed to get offended when I tell them otherwise. “But that’s not what it loooooooks liiiiike,” they always whine. As if my ancestors and I conspired many decades ago to trick them into looking stupid. As if I enjoy spending months on end debating if I should correct a boss or just let him just keep calling me be the wrong name because, ugh, what’s the point.”
So yeah, good thinking Lupita. Now no one really has an excuse to shorten your name or worse, mangle it during the rest of awards season.