Eve D’Souza is currently riding high on her new show Varshita which airs on Maisha Magic East. The show is a spin-off from Auntie Boss which she also stars and produces, televised on NTV.
She spoke to Buzz about her love of entertainment and her extroverted personality.
How proud are you to be the first person in Kenya to have a spin-off show?
It hasn’t really sunk in yet. I think it’s because we are so stressed on set. When Auntie Boss premiered on NTV, everyone was like, “How proud are you (Lucy Mwangi – my business partner – and I)? You have such an amazing sitcom!” But we were too busy, stressed, to even think about it. Then Varshita came and everyone is asking the same thing again. I am too tired to think about it. It hasn’t really sunk in yet. That is because every person involved has put so much in to it.
In your words what is the difference between the two shows?
The stars of Auntie Boss are primarily the house helps. The whole idea for the show came out of a hilarious conversation between Lucy and I. We were swapping the funniest stories about our experiences with house helps and after talking straight for two hours she said this would make a great TV show. The spinoff, comes from what happens on Auntie Boss.
You will find out the way Varshita was brought in. She is a very strong character in terms of being over dramatic. She is a loud and horrible person. Even in our workshops with our writers, they try and suppress the stories because the character of Don and Varshita kept coming out too strongly.
So Lucy kept saying that we needed a separate story for the two characters. When we met with Mnet, they just loved the idea. We haven’t done a good interracial couple on Kenyan TV.
They said that, honestly, there is a lot of racism between Indians and Africans especially when it comes to dating and marriage. So it primarily focuses on Varshita’s and Donovan’s relationship. You come to understand why she is so dysfunctional when you meet her parents and Don’s parents as well.
How has the show been received?
It’s been amazing, but personally I’m a bit troubled by this. Our biggest fan base, and I mean it, is children. I will meet people who will say that their son would love to marry a Varshita when he grows up and girls want to be like Varshita. To them we are like human cartoons.
Would you ever consider turning both shows into a movie?
When Varshita was going to come out, I always said in the back of my head that I hate spin-offs. Every spin-off that I have ever watched was so lame and so boring. So I was very nervous and I said that I cannot let it flop. It is the same thing I say about movies. I hate movies based on TV shows. If we do it, we will do it in a Bollywood style.
Any comparison with Varshita in your life?
Why I love playing Varshita is because I am so the opposite of her. It is like therapy. I can finally tell people off and stand up for myself. I’m such a people pleaser. I dislike confrontation, and arguments upset me.
It really affects me because I’m so emotional. When someone comes and tells a sob story, I feel pity for them, but playing Varshita I can tell them what is on my mind. I love that she is loud, dramatic, without any filter and does what she wants. I never do that.
In what ways can you say you have grown as an actor?
I have such a respect for people in the film that I never had before. Radio was my first love and it will always be very, very close to my heart because it is so easy compared to doing TV.
You could come in your pyjamas and nobody will know, or you could be upset and in a bad mood and no one sees you.
But on TV whatever problems you have, stress you are going through, it doesn’t matter if you were dumped the night before, you have to leave it at the door and bring your ‘A’ game because it will show. Even when I watch my shows I can tell when I was tired. I never knew anything about acting and production before.
I have grown in terms of what I have learned and learned from the people that I work with. I get the most lessons from them and it has been such a humbling experience. On set there is no difference between cast and crew as far as I’m concerned.
How do you unwind and is there a Mr Right?
I love to cook. My favorite place is the kitchen. The only problem is I get to cook only on Sundays because we work from Monday to Saturday. At the moment there is no Mr Right but it’s still early in the year, so you never know. The way my family approaches relationships is, until it is dead serious I don’t want to introduce anyone. My self-esteem has always been based on my career and not on relationships. It’s not like I’m dying to show off a man.
What advice would you give a 21-year-old Eve?
You have no idea what you are doing. Honestly when I think back, at 21 is when I joined Capital FM. I think it is difficult because everyone’s story is different some people know what they want to do at a young age and some people don’t. I wanted to be either a teacher, a vet or a singer. I couldn’t sing and the vet thing freaked me out because I dint know that you had to treat cows and snakes too.
I thought it would only be puppies.
I was all over the place until the lectures sat me down and told me that I could be good for media, then something went off. Until that point I didn’t know. It is very important to listen to the people around you. Sometimes you have a dream and you think you might be great at this. No offence, but I have seen in radio and TV people say ‘I was meant to be on radio or TV’ and yet you are not good. It is good to humble yourself at that age and listen to other people.
What is your take on Kenyan TV and film industry?
I wish there was more support to be quite honest. When I was in radio, I used to hear my friends talk about it and you don’t really realise it until you are in it. It is so difficult to get a show on TV. Broadcasters have such low budgets. You are given a very low budget and expected to do amazing things with it, which is very difficult. In terms of films, there is no opportunity to make money.
When you go to Nigeria or South Africa, corporates sponsor films and it is a big deal. Funding in Kenya is also a big issue. Everything we have done, we have done it out of our own pockets. We’ve taken loans to be where we are now.
Has the government helped you in any way?
I just don’t feel the budget allocated to arts is significant. It can’t do anything apart from throw one of those symposiums. There is so much talent and not enough platforms. I think the government should come in and support us because I feel we are doing this on our own.
If you could be an animal, what would you be?
What is one thing that annoys you the most?
There’s so much… ohhh c*** (couldn’t answer).
Have you ever milked a goat?
I milked a cow, does that count?
What is your biggest addiction?
Which celebrity annoys you the most?
I’m not allowed to say that, there are a lot of local celebrities that annoy me.
What supply in your house is running low?
Chocolate. You’ve reminded me, thanks.
What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?
Use one word to describe your computer ability?
Money or fame?
Of course money
Internet or cell phone?
Thongs or granny pants?
(Laughs uncontrollably) Thongs.
Describe the perfect kiss in three words.
It should be soft, warm and yummy.