Lupita Nyong’o was the belle of the ball on Oscar night. But the man who was by her side the morning after — clutching her statuette and comforting her as she prepared to make the rounds of press — isn’t exactly Prince Charming. RadarOnline.com has exclusively learned that the new man by Nyong’o’s side, Somali rapper K’Naan, is a former gang member with a history of past arrests!
K’Naan, born Keinan Warsame, was born in Somalia but fled with his family to Canada in the 90s after seeing his young friends killed in the beginning of that country’s civil war. But life in North America would only prove to be more dangerous.
In a tough Toronto neighborhood, K’Naan fell in with a Somali gang.
“We Somalis weren’t treated well because we didn’t know how to dress cool,” he’s explained. “We didn’t have Nike trainers; instead, we had stuff from Walmart and kids would be laughing. There was always conflict there …”
Ultimately, he would be arrested more than a dozen times during his teen years, according to multiple reports, including at least once for violence involving a firearm.
“I learned to fire guns at the age of nine or so,” he’s revealed, “but luckily [I] was not out killing people. We zigzagged the streets to escape those trying to kill us.”
Now a successful rapper — and a devout Muslim who does not drink or smoke — he’s come a long way from the streets of Mogadishu and the ghettoes of Toronto. But he still has sympathy for those back home. K’Naan has drawn criticism in recent years for his stance on Somali pirates like those featured in Captain Phillips: He says they’re “serving a purpose.”
Citing illegal fishing and the dumping of toxic waste off the coast of Somalia, he’s said, “Our pirates were the only deterrent we had from an externally imposed environmental disaster. One man’s pirate is another man’s coast guard.”
Do you think he sounds like a good match for Nyong’o? Let us know in the comments!