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Lupita Nyong’o Was Living in a Lot of ‘Pain and Heartbreak’ after recent breakup


Lupita Nyong’o is reflecting on her recent heartbreak after she and boyfriend Selema Masekela ended their relationship last October.

In a new cover story for NET-A-PORTER’s digital title PORTERNyong’o, 40, discussed why she chose to open up about the situation on social media at the time.

“I was living in a lot of pain and heartbreak,” she said. “I looked at the environment of my social media and thought I don’t want to be a part of this illusion that everything is always coming up roses. Surely there is a lesson for me to learn in this, and I just want to be real about it.”

The A Quiet Place: Day One actress also explained why she was so public with her relationship status — and why she might not be in the future.

“It was because I felt sure about it,” Nyong’o said of her decision to be open with her fans. She added of her past policy on keeping relationships to herself: “That was very, very sage of me. I’m going back to those days, by the way.”

Lupita Nyong'o

Nyong’o remains hopeful about finding love again, though. She told PORTER, “Our purpose in life is to love. And so you have to get back in it.”

The actress and Masekela, a TV host and sports commentator, publicly confirmed their relationship on Instagram in December 2022, though it’s unclear when their relationship began.


In a statement on Instagram Oct. 19, 2023, Nyong’o wrote about her breakup, saying, “At this moment, it is necessary for me to share a personal truth and publicly dissociate myself from someone I can no longer trust.”

“I find myself in a season of heartbreak because of a love suddenly and devastatingly extinguished by deception,” the Black Panther star continued at the time. “I am tempted to run into the shadows and hide, only to return to the light when I have regained my strength enough for me to say,

‘Whatever, my life is better this way.’ But I am reminded that the magnitude of the pain I am feeling is equal to the measure of my capacity for love.”

“And so, I am choosing to face the pain, cultivating the courage to meet my life exactly as it is, and trusting that this too shall pass,” she added.

“The promise, they say, is that a tender heart is what gives birth to fearlessness. I hope it’s true… I share this to keep it [100], and hoping that the knowledge of my experience might be useful to someone else out there experiencing the grip of heartbreak who is poised to try and escape from the pain and miss out on the wisdom that comes from it. Let’s face our pain so we don’t spread it.”


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