Papa Shirandula’s Awinja Shares Tips For Making It in the Kenyan Film Industry

May 14, 2018

Jacky Vike, commonly known as Awinja in the popular local television series “Papa Shirandula”, is one of the most sought-after actresses in the country at the moment.

However, success did not come overnight for Jacky. She shared what it takes to make it, what she has been up to, her take on the Kenyan acting scene.

What have you been up to? It looks like you have been staying away from the cameras lately?

I have been around but you know sometimes it is also good to take some time off for yourself. Also, I’m having the new experience of being a mother which so far has been a wonderful journey.

Your career as an actress appears to have grown, especially after starring in ‘Papa Shirandula’. Tell us about that…

It was amazing I personally never thought in my life I would play the role of a house help and one who has an upcountry accent. It was a challenging role for me but I am glad I gave it my best and the fans loved it.

What do you have to say to this perception that people have that unless you are a well know actor it is difficult to be cast?

No, there is nothing like that. It all depends on how hard you push. You might find some people, especially upcoming actors and actresses, lose morale quickly.

For example, if they attend one audition and they are rejected they lose hope. But they should understand that their rejection does not mean that they are not good, it’s probably because they do not fit that role.

If they keep attending these auditions continuously, even after rejection, I believe that one day they’ll get accepted into a role that suits them.

Personally, my success did not happen overnight; I attended numerous auditions where I was rejected but I never lost hope.

Is there another acting role that you would love to be cast as?

No, because as the Swahili proverb says mchagua jembe sio mkulima. I do not choose a role; whatever role that comes I do it to my level best. If the script comes and says I am a nurse or a director of a company, I will do it.

I have played so many roles apart from Awinja; it is only that Awinja is more popular.

What is exciting in your career as an actress?

Meeting people that I never imagined I would see face to face. Most of them I used to admire on television.

Finally, your take on the industry?

The industry has its moments, at times we are stagnant and then things start picking up. In the meantime, I can say that it is growing gradually. We need support from relevant organisations and the government to reach that space where we can have our very own Kenyan Hollywood.

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