Netflix to adapt ‘Sulwe’, the children’s book from ‘Us’ star Lupita Nyong’o

Lupita Nyong'o, author of Sulwe, attends the Louis Vuitton Show during Paris Fashion Week's Womenswear Fall/Winter 2020/2021 show on March 03, 2020.
Sulwe author Lupita Nyong'o attending the Louis Vuitton Show at Paris Fashion Week on March 3, 2020. (Image credit: Jacopo Raule/Getty Images)

Lupita Nyong’o’s childrens' book, Sulwe, is being transformed into an animated musical by Netflix.

Sulwe follows a young Kenyan girl called Sulwe who has skin darker than anyone else in her family and tries to wish it away to feel pretty. The book, written by Lupita Nyong’o and illustrated by Vashti Harrison, was originally published in late 2019 and became a New York Times best-seller.

On one fateful night, after she tries a number of methods to lighten her skin, Sulwe meets a shooting star sent to her by the Night. The star manages to open Sulwe's eyes to her own beauty. The book teaches important lessons about self-esteem, colorism and helps readers to find their own true beauty as well as teaching that that that same beauty comes from within.

Lupita Nyong’o appeared on the Netflix series Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices as a celebrity reader to share her book in September 2020. The show got celebrities to share child-friendly stories which could spark conversations about empathy, antiracism, equality and self-love. You can watch that video below:

In a statement, Nyong’o said “the story of Sulwe is one that is very close to my heart.’ She continued:

“Growing up, I was uncomfortable in my dark skin. I rarely saw anyone who looked like me in the aspirational pages of books or magazines, or even on TV. It was a long journey for me to arrive at self-love. Sulwe is a mirror for dark-skinned children to see themselves, a window for those who may not be familiar with colorism, to have understanding and empathy, and an invitation for all who feel different and unseen to recognize their innate beauty and value. I am thrilled that the book is being adapted into an animated musical that we hope inspires children all around the world to celebrate their uniqueness.”

Nyong’o also reacted to the news on Twitter, writing: “I’m so excited for this next adventure on @Netflix!”

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We do not have a release date for Sulwe yet.  

Martin Shore
Staff Writer at

Martin is a Staff Writer with, where he produces a variety of articles focused on the latest and greatest films and TV shows. 

Some of his favorite shows are What We Do In The Shadows, Bridgerton, Gangs of London, The Witcher, Doctor Who, and Ghosts. When he’s not watching TV or at the movies, Martin’s probably still in front of a screen playing the latest video games, reading, or watching the NFL.