US streaming giant Netflix on Thursday announced that it was turning Sulwe, the bestselling children’s book by Oscar award winner Lupita Nyong’o, into an animated musical.
Sulwe, written by Nyong’o with illustrations by Vashti Harrison, follows Sulwe, a child who has skin darker than anyone she knows (“Sulwe was born the color of midnight,” the book begins) — and all she wants is to be beautiful and bright.
One night, she is visited by a shooting star sent by the Night and embarks on a magical journey where she learns the eye-opening story of the sisters Night and Day.
The book tells a story about colorism, self-esteem and learning that true beauty comes from within.
“We’re so excited to announce SULWE, the animated musical, is coming to Netflix! Based off of Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o’s New York Times bestselling book, SULWE tells the story of a young girl born “the color of midnight” who learns to embrace her inner and outer beauty,” said Netflix.
We’re so excited to announce SULWE, the animated musical, is coming to Netflix! Based off of Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o’s New York Times bestselling book, SULWE tells the story of a young girl born “the color of midnight” who learns to embrace her inner and outer beauty. pic.twitter.com/jv9ENBfAuu
— Strong Black Lead (@strongblacklead) February 18, 2021
The picture book published in October 2019 was a New York Times bestseller and has now been translated to Swahili and Luo.
Lupita said that through the Kiswahili and Luo translations, young children, along with parents and guardians, are encouraged to absorb new work in indigenous languages.
“I am very proud to finally be debuting my book, Sulwe, at home in Kenya in English, Kiswahili and my mother tongue, Luo. It has been a dream of mine to have Sulwe published in indigenous languages as a way to celebrate them and keep them alive and relevant. I hope readers enjoy Sulwe’s adventure as she discovers the beauty within,” said Lupita.