The major film studios of Hollywood are the primary source of the most commercially successful and most ticket selling movies in the world, such as The Birth of a Nation (1915), Gone with the Wind (1939), The Sound of Music (1965), The Godfather (1972), Jaws(1975), Star Wars (1977), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Jurassic Park (1993), Titanic (1997), and Avatar (2009).
Moreover, many of Hollywood’s highest-grossing movies have generated more box-office revenue and ticket sales outside the United States than films made elsewhere. Today, American film studios collectively generate several hundred movies every year, making the United States one of the most prolific producers of films in the world and a leading pioneer in motion picture engineering and technology.
Kenyan sons and daughters have found homage in the Hollywood industry.
The list below looks at Kenyans who have worked with Hollywood.
Born in Nairobi, Kenya. Fluent Swahili speaker, and has quickly become the go-to man in Hollywood for Swahili-related roles.
2. Edi Gathegi
Edi Mūe Gathegi (born March 10, 1979) is a Kenyan American film, stage, and television actor. He appeared as recurring character Dr. Jeffrey Cole (aka “Big Love”) in the television series House, as Cheese in the 2007 film Gone Baby Gone and as Laurent in the films Twilight, its sequel The Twilight Saga: New Moon, and Darwin in X-Men: First Class. He also featured in the AMC series, Into the Badlands, as Baron Jacobee. He has also been a recurring character in NBC’s television series, The Blacklist as Matias Solomon, an operative for a covert organization. Gathegi reprised the role in the 2016–2017 season crime thriller, The Blacklist: Redemption.
3. Lupita Nyongo
Born March 1, 1983, is a Kenyan-Mexican actress. The daughter of Kenyan politician Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o, she was born in Mexico City, where her father was teaching and was raised in Kenya from the age of one. She attended college in the United States, earning a bachelor’s degree in film and theater studies from Hampshire College.
Nyong’o began her career in Hollywood as a production assistant. In 2008, she made her acting debut with the short film East River and subsequently returned to Kenya to star in the television series Shuga (2009–2012). Also in 2009, she wrote, produced and directed the documentary In My Genes. She then pursued a master’s degree in acting from the Yale School of Drama. Soon after her graduation, she had her first feature film role as Patsey in Steve McQueen’s historical drama 12 Years a Slave (2013), for which she received critical acclaim and won several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She became the first Kenyan and Mexican actress to win an Academy Award.
Nyong’o made her Broadway debut as a teenage orphan in the critically acclaimed play Eclipsed (2015), for which she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. Following a motion capture role as Maz Kanata in the Star Wars sequel trilogy and a voice role as Raksha in The Jungle Book (2016), Nyong’o starred as Nakia in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero film Black Panther (2018).
In addition to acting, Nyong’o supports historic preservation. She is vocal about preventing sexual harassment and working for women and animal rights. In 2014, she was named the most beautiful woman by People.
4. Christine Wawira
Christine Wawira Njagi, actress and model formerly known as Naila Pierce, was born on December 20th, 1987 in Nairobi Kenya. She lived there until she was 7 years old and relocated to London with her parents and younger sister in 1994.
She has been in several movies, TV shows, commercials, and music videos.
5. Raymond Ofula