Academy Award winning actress Lupita Nyong’o looks radiant as she covers the January 2016 issue of Essence.

Since landing her pivotal role in 12 Years A Slave, the Kenyan-born actress’s feet have barely touched the ground, with her stardom levels continuing to soar. With her next big screen turn in the greatly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Lupita is currently performing in Eclipsed, the first Broadway show to be composed entirely of female artists.

In the cover story, Lupita speaks about her quick ascent to fame. “After 12 Years a Slave and the quote-unquote meteoric rise, I felt like there was a moment where I was suffering from whiplash. I had talked so much about who I was that I’d forgotten who I was.”

Looking stunning as always, Lupita’s success continues to be an inspiration to women of color across the globe. The January issue of Essence hits newsstands December 4.