We invite them to your TV screes, some of us religiously. This are a few of the Kenyan TV beauty queens alias looks wizards some of us love to have on our screens.
Awards won: Chaguo La Teeniez Best Actress gong twice in 2010 and 2011. Roles played: Tanya in Tahidi High, which airs on Citizen TV. Laura in Saints, a local medical drama on NTV and Laisa in a British Film I am Slave.
Role model: American actor Johnny Depp. He is a good and versatile actor who eternalises and defines his roles perfectly.
Challenges: Typecasting can sometimes be tricky more so when asked to play a role that you feel does not suit you or go down well with you.
Shopping: I basically shop at any good place where I can get something unique.
Nevertheless, I buy my flat shoes at Mr Price. As for my dresses I get them locally and abroad as I usually send a friend. I get my heels from WBC Shop in Jamia Mall, Nairobi.
Most expensive outfit:
Honestly, that is a hard one. Let’s just say that would be my Blackberry phone.
(Ed note: In her words, Blackberry is an outfit).
Awards: The last time I got one I was a student at Loreto Msongari. I won an award for Best Actress. Stand out factor: The fact that I have a passion for acting and always try to be real in whatever role I play.
Roles played: Celina, Charlie’s wife in Mother-in-Law. I have also featured in a film shot and sponsored by an NGO.
Role model: Locally, I admire Shirleen Wangari (Shish in Tahidi High). She is talented, self-driven and has the passion for acting. Internationally, Julia Roberts; she is great.
Image pressure: Apart from stalkers, people out there expect too much from me forgetting that I am only human. A good example was when I visited a fast food joint and got myself fries and a sauce. Before I knew it all eyes were on me with one woman commenting how I could not afford to buy myself chicken yet I am always on television. This pissed me off and I left without uttering a word.
Challenges: Balancing between acting, going to school and being a single mum of a five year old boy has not been easy.
Shopping: Initially I used to shop at Gikosh. Today, however, my friends do the shopping for me since most of the shops I have been to are known to take advantage by tripling the prize simply because I am Celina of Mother-in-Law.
Most expensive outfit: I once bought a dress for Sh10,000 three years back. Nevertheless, I adore nice, fashionable shoes, which I get from Shop 69 in Lang’ata.
Awards: I won an award for Best All Rounder Actress as a Form Two student at State House Girls, Nairobi. This landed me a scholarship to the prestigious Hillcrest High School. Stand out factor: The fact that I am daring and not afraid to play the role of a villain when the need arises.
Roles played: I played the role of a hustling musician by the name Tunda in Plot 10 that aired on KBC. I also made an appearance in Shuga Season One and Changing Times. Currently, I feature in Mashtaka. Prior to that, I was part of a travelling troupe playing the Set Books by Four Side Productions for some time. I once recall doing four books (episodes) just to be paid Sh500. I also played Stella in Shreads of Tenderness.
Role model: Jackie Nyaminde aka Wilbroda; she is one natural actress who is real in her character. Others are Ojwang’ and Mama Kayai.
Controversial moments: I once played a sexual scene in Married Bachelor, which was not easy. I had to strike a balance between acting and reality.
Challenges: Initially it was hard landing a role because of my small size. I did not also have connections in the movie industry.
Shopping: Most of my stuff is brought to me by a male friend since I have become a victim of conmen and women who take advantage of me because they deem me as a celeb.
Most expensive outfit: I am not the type to spend much on outfits but I am crazy about hairdos. I spend as much as Sh15,000 per session doing my hair.
PATRICIA (Joy Kendi)
|PATRICIA (Joy Kendi);|
Stand out factor: My unique style. Also the fact that I’m able to bring in a new culture of entertainment having grown up in the US. Roles played: Patricia in Changing Times.
Role model: Meryl Streep is my favourite actress.
Controversial moments: I have never had one and don’t wish for either. The only problem is that people seem to have a problem with my accent, terming it fake.
Challenges: Being my own stylist, going to school and acting is never an easy thing to do.
Shopping: I shop at Adams Arcade as opposed to shopping stalls where you are bound to find the same things all over.
Most expensive outfit: A dress, that I bought for Sh43,500.
Career choice defining moment: As a child when I watched the musical Sound of Music.Where have you acted?
Although most of my work revolves around stage productions, on screen I star in Briefcase Inc on KTN as Jackie.
Image pressure: I have chosen to see it as a constant reminder to take better care of myself and feel the confidence I need to deliver.
Acting role model: It is a tie between Emma Stone and Tina Fey, they are both hilarious.
Career highlight: Having people recognise me and appreciate my work. It feels great!
Apart from acting: I am a musician currently working on some new material that will come out soon.
Does acting pay? Pay is always good, as long as the outcome is income!
Career choice defining moment: The first time I walked into the National Theatre, I knew I was home. It gave me such a strong sense of belonging. Roles in: Makutano Junction, Higher Learning and Block D.
Movies: All Girls Together and Kafura, which is in post-production.
I am currently reading for the movie My Life In Crime where I will be playing Millie, Jack Zollo’s wife.
Best role: Apart from being part of the Constitution teaching process, which was such an honour last year, I got back on stage after four years and did Disturbia, a musical with Festival of Creative Arts. I got to play many characters in one and I got to dance, sing, poetry and act.
Do you think that you are typecast?
Initially guys would call me for the same roles but I refused. Ainea Ojiambo had taught me better. I took it upon myself to work at being versatile. The roles that I take up transport me to a different level as an actress.
Image pressure: People expect you to be on your ‘A game’ all the time, but I have had to learn to find a balance. You can look fabulous but also need to give yourself a break.
Acting role model: Natalie Portman, she is giving some insane performances.
Career highlight: When I won the Kalasha award for Best Leading Actress in 2009.
Does acting pay?
Some producers do not care but some will go out of their way to get good funding.
Apart from acting: I released my debut single Love Mission as Nariki. I am currently spending lots of time in the studio.
Career choice defining moment: As a Class Five pupil when I won an award for Best Actress during the School Drama Festivals, at the National level. Roles played: On TV: Nairobi Law and Briefcase Inc. as a featured guest. In movies, I have acted in Conflicted Successions and Rugged Priest as the lead actress.
I am currently working on a series (name withheld), which is set to air in February.
I am also working on an action film, directed by Joseph Gathogo. I play the lead role. It is about money, freemason, drugs, rejection and love. This is one of the most challenging roles I have ever played. For the first time I’m learning how to hold a gun, throw kicks and jabs. I am also shooting a documentary for Fida Kenya, where I play the main star. I must say that God has been faithful!
Image pressure: Once you are a public figure there are certain expectations from the society, but it does not hurt to look glamorous regardless of your body size. As long as you are comfortable with yourself, you are good to go!
Role model: Jennifer Aniston and Eva Longoria.
Career highlight: On the September 24 last year, when I won the Best Lead Actress at the Kalasha awards.
Apart from acting: I run my own company, Contemporary Events and Consulting Services. It is a partnership business where I am a co-director.
Does acting pay? Yes, currently I must say the producers and directors have realised the worth of an actor.
Roles played: Tabasamu, Noose of Gold, Demi gods and the movie Shattered that premiered late last year.Acting role model: I admire Nigerian actress Rita Dominic. I am humbled to have worked with her in the movie Shattered. Internationally Eva Longoria rocks.
Apart from acting: I am currently in school pursuing a course in Business Management and Human Resource Management. I am also a model and a make-up artiste.
NICE GITHINJI Roles played: Movies: All Girls Together, Formula X, Family Betrayal, Benta and Lost in Africa.
On TV: Better Days, Guy Centre, Changing Times and Saints. I am currently on Changing Times playing Lisa Lesiit.
Best role: Psycho Nelly on Better Days, but that was replaced by Nuts by Festival of Creative Arts (FCA) where I played Claudia.
Role model: Myself. I want to be the best I can be. Mumbi Kaigwa inspires me. She is a work of art, sleeps, eats and breathes art. Others are Hollywood stars Meryl Streep, Charlize Theron, Angela Basset, Julia Roberts and Whoopi Goldberg.
Career highlight: Being awarded the Best Actress on TV during last year’s Kalasha Awards. However, I am expecting more.
Apart from acting: I am getting into production with the aim of making documentaries, create shows and advert concepts and direct music videos. I am also working with Danson Kiundi on a musical project called The Mad Man’s Opera.
Does acting pay?
Like any other profession, it pays.
LUPITA NYONG’OAwards won: I won the Best Emerging Actress Award during Mbalamwezi Awards in 2000. I have also won awards for In My Genes, a film I directed and produced. At the moment I’m at Yale University on a Jerome L Greene Scholarship at the Yale School of Drama.
Stand out factor: I personally strive to be an honest actor, truthfully believing and portraying the imaginary circumstances of the character I am playing — I think people respond well to honesty on screen and on the stage. I don’t judge my character’s actions.
Roles played: On Screen:
Ayira in Shuga, F in East River and In The Roadside directed by Willie Owusu. This was a fun process that involved coming up with the dialogue and action on the spot, which is always an exciting challenge.
On Stage 2011 – 2012:
Katherine in The Taming of The Screen, Henry VI in Henry VI, Mephisto in Dr Faustus Lights, The Lights, Sarah in A Thought In Three Parts and Fatty in The Really Big Fat Show.
Role model: I am inspired by different people for different reasons at different times: I love the acting work of Taraji P Henson, Meryl Streep, Charlize Theron and Idris Elba. These are some versatile actors. Danai Gurira is a talented actor and playwright from Zimbabwe who is writing beautiful contemporary African plays.
Controversial moments: Sometimes people have trouble separating actors from the characters they play, so I have had people approach me with an over-familiarity because they’ve watched Shuga and think that I am like Ayira.
One time a man tried to inappropriately touch me at a party and when I stopped him, he was surprised because he was convinced I was always looking for a “good time” like Ayira.
Article Source: Standard Newspaper