Lupita Nyong’o and Boyfriend Selema Masekela Break Up After One Year of Dating

Lupita Nyong’o and boyfriend Selema Masekela have ended their romance less than a year after going Instagram official. Read her powerful message on her "heartbreak" and "pain."

By Lindsay Weinberg Oct 19, 2023 9:28 PMTags
Watch: Lupita Nyong'o Talks ROMANCE RUMORS With Janelle Monae

There is no more "us" for Lupita Nyong'o and Selema Masekela.

The Oscar winner and her boyfriend have broken up after about one year together, she shared on Instagram Oct. 19 without naming her ex. 

"It is necessary for me to share a personal truth and publicly dissociate myself from someone I can no longer trust," Lupita wrote. "I find myself in a season of heartbreak because of a love suddenly and devastatingly extinguished by deception."

The Black Panther star shared why she decided to reveal the news publicly in spite of the heartache she's currently feeling.

"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,'" she continued. "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."

2023 Celebrity Breakups

Lupita, 40, noted that she hopes discussing her breakup with followers might help someone else 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."

"The promise, they say, is that a tender heart is what gives birth to fearlessness," she added. "I hope it's true."

Instagram (lupitanyongo)

The former couple's connection traces back years, as Selema, a TV host and designer, confessed to having an apparent crush on the Us actress in 2016. 

"Hypothetically speaking of course," he tweeted at the time, "let's say you're seated behind Lupita Nyong'o on an airplane, what would be your opening line?"

Things had gone from hypothetical to IRL by March 2022, when she attended the store opening of his surf apparel company Mami Wata in Venice, Calif. 


Lupita then went Instagram official with the fashion founder in December 2022, writing at the time, "We just click!" and "#thisismylove."

Selema also gave a look inside their romance, gushing in a separate post, "Hearts are synched. My whole and actual love @lupitanyongo."

All the stars continued to align as of two months ago, when Lupita celebrated his birthday with a love note to the "Sunshine Human."

"Every day is full of #goodenergy and reasons to dance with @selema as my favorite playmate. Happy Birthday, mi amor!" she wrote in August, prompting him to respond that he was the "luckiest man alive." 

He has not yet publicly addressed the breakup on social media. E! News has reached out to Selema's manager for comment on the split but hasn't heard back.

For an inside look at Lupita's life over the years, read on:

Daringly Divine

Lupita nails the 2019 MET Gala "Camp" theme in custom Versace inspired by John Walter's legendary drag queen, Divine.

Wine Not?

The actress poses with grace and elegance in this wine-colored gown.

Daring in Dior

The Black Panther actress carries the drama off-screen in this bold and beautiful Dior dress.

Studded & Dangerous

The budding horror queen wears a Balmain-studded transparent blazer-dress at the New York premiere of Us.

Ray of Light

Lupita beams in a Prabal Gurung patterned dress and a yellow cashmere coat by Mansur Gavriel outside Good Morning America.

Chic Becomes Her

The actress looks hauntingly beautiful at the London screening of Us wearing an Attico sequined tartan wrap dress and red contacts. 

Color Coordinated

The Oscar-winner is seen in a Prabal Gurung's sweater dress and a vibrant red Mackage overcoat outside The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Futuristic Entity

The actress is serving a Grace Jones-esque, other-worldly look in a Honayada white cut-out suit at the SXSW Premiere of Jordan Peele's sophomore film Us at SXSW.

Feathered Lady

Lupita Nyong'o was light as a feather as she attended the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscars party wearing this Oscar de la Renta one-shoulder gown.


The Kenyan-Mexican actress donned a golden power suit-inspired dress by Chanel as she partied ahead of the Oscars.

Pretty in Pink

The 36-year-old star was pretty in pink while attending a pre-Oscars bash with Vanity Fair and Lancome. 

Striped Style

Nyong'o sparkled in this saucy Balmain striped frock as she carried a diamond-crusted leopard Judith Leiber clutch.

Modern Mogul

The Us actress gave major boss-vibes in this Versace gold puffer jacket.

Sultry & Structured

Lupita wears a custom Vera Wang ensemble, pairing a structured blazer with a sheer jeweled skirt. She completes the look with feathered braids. 

Celestial Jewel

Black Panther's Lupita stuns on the red carpet in a Calvin Klein dress. This shining star never ceases to amaze us!

Fringed in White

Lupita pays homage to the Roaring Twenties in a fringed Tom Ford gown and teardrop earrings.

Colorful Clothing

For the Versace Fall 2019 fashion show, the Black Panther star goes bold and bright with a T-shirt, cardigan, skirt and heels of the same pop art-inspired print.

Wonderful in White

The actress dons the popular power suit, but opts for an all-white look with silver shoes to stand out.

Caged Chicness

The actress was fierce in a glamorous see-though Prada number, paired with a brown bodycon dress.

Pretty as A Peach

Lupita's shimmering, floor-sweeping Prada gown was a fashion highlight at the Cannes Film Festival.

Diamonds are Forever

The actress stuns in this timeless Giorgio Armani gown embellished with sparkling jewels and plunging neckline. 

Fabulous and Feathered

Lupita shows off a little skin in a gorgeous Dior Haute Couture gown.

Go Bananas

It's definitely not every day you see someone wearing a dress covered in bananas, but Lupita makes the Prada dress look timeless.

Royal Purple

The Black Panther star wore a show-stopping purple Atelier Versace dress with an embellished bodice for the world premiere of Black Panther

Black Swan

This black, flowy Elie Saab dress embodies elegance and power as the actress attended the EE BAFTAs.

Golden Statue

The actress looks strikingly similar to the Oscar Statuette in a golden Atelier Versace for the 90th Annual Academy Awards.

Light as a Feather

The Black Panther actress sauntered down the red carpet at the 2018 SAG Awards in a Ralph and Russo gown.

Fashion Force

The stunning actress turned heads in a glittering green Halpern dress at the premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Line It Up

This striped jumpsuit the actress wore while promoting Star Wars: The Force Awakens flatters her in every way. The vertical stripes elongate her legs while the horizontal ones give her more shape up top. 

All Ruffled Up

The 12 Years a Slave star proved a simple satin dress will go far, especially when a few ruffle details flow down. 

View More Photos From Lupita Nyong'o's Best Looks