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Lupita Nyong’o has been a little quiet as of late, but she’s still that empowering beauty we know and love.

The 32-year-old Mexican-Kenyan Star Wars actress hits the October issue of Vogue magazine, marking the second time she’s covered the publication. Photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, Lupita’s youthful skin is front and center. She looks bold in a metallic Valentino Haute Couture gown, paired with no jewelry and a dark red lip.

Inside the fashion bible’s pages, Lupita talks the power of couture, having an old soul, and being used to tragedy and extreme situations as a result of her upbringing. Vogue notes:

Lupita’s father, Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o, now a senator, was for a long period an opposition politician under the repressive Moi regime. He spent three years in self-imposed exile with his family in Mexico, where Lupita was born.

The Nyong’os returned to Nairobi when Lupita was one. The following years she remembers as “scary, but I was at an age where you couldn’t fully understand what was happening.” Her father was at times detained in jail, once for an entire month, and the family “had to destroy a lot of his documents. I wasn’t allowed to go to school. We were basically locked up in the house. The curtains were shut all the time, and we were just burning papers.” She says the experience made her resilient. “I was definitely exposed to some extreme situations. Tragedy is something that I have known and that I have tried to accept as part of life. But I don’t dwell on it. . . . OK! I need to powder my nose!”

On the country of Kenya praising Lupita after her Oscar win:

On her recent visit home, Lupita was greeted with a ceremonial reception. “It was overwhelming,” she says. “In Africa there is a nationalism that comes with things like winning an Oscar. It’s traditional to be welcomed and celebrated. Praise songs, which are the highest honor in Kenya, were sung for me, and they included lines from my Oscar speech.” (“Your dreams are valid” featured prominently in the lyrics.) She chuckles as she recalls local newspaper coverage under a headline that read “Tears Roll Down Hollywood Cheeks.”

“I wanted to go back to Kenya with something to say,” she continues. “I was raised with a strong sense of charity. When I was younger I volunteered with an orphanage. I did a lot of organizing of church events.” Her mother, who runs her own public-relations company, also raises money for cancer. Besides returning to Nairobi a WildAid ambassador, Lupita hosted mentoring events for groups of arts-focused school children aged between ten and eighteen. “When I was that age I would have liked someone to talk to me. Because what I found when I was growing up was that there was no real understanding of what it meant to be in a creative field.”

Check out her spread and the rest of her cover story here. Lupita is one of a kind.

SOURCE: Vogue | PHOTO CREDIT: Instagram, Vogue, Getty

Lupita Nyong’o Lands Second Vogue Cover & Talks Scary, Extreme Situations In Kenya  was originally published on