Lupita Nyong’o could only laugh after the tourism minister of her native Kenya said the actress was overlooked as the country’s international tourism ambassador because she’s been “unreachable.”
Backlash mounted online last week when Kenyan tourism minister Najib Balala picked British model Naomi Campbell as ambassador, representing the “Magical Kenya” brand.
In response, many people asked why someone like Nyong’o, who was born in Mexico but raised in Kenya since she was a toddler, could not have been selected instead. Balala said at a public event this week that Nyong’o had been unreachable for the past five years and that they had failed to make contact with her.
Nyong’o on Friday literally laughed at that idea.
“Me when I hear the Kenyan Ministry of Tourism has been looking for me for fives years,” the “Black Panther” star posted alongside a cheery image of herself laughing and the hashtags “#Imrightherebaby” and “#alternativefacts.”
In Campbell’s defense, she’s visited Kenya several times and boasts 10 million Instagram followers — not to mention, Balala said she agreed to take on the ambassador role pro bono.
BBC reports that Kenya’s tourism sector has been badly hurt by COVID-19, with tourism to the East African nation dropping by 72% in 2020.
See Nyong’o’s tweet below:
— Lupita Nyong'o (@Lupita_Nyongo) January 22, 2021