FIVE FAMOUS KENYAN ACTORS WHO HAVE MADE A DISTINCTION AND FEATURED IN NOLLYWOOD MOVIES

these Kenyan Actors did a debut in the Nollywood industry and have encouraged alot more of partnerships between the two movie industries...
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MUMBI MAINA

Mumbi Maina is a Kenyan-Nollywood female actress born on 14th January 1985, is known for her role in the soap opera « Mali ». She is an Actress and a Dancer who has starred in both Local and International films since 2009. Mumbi is popularly known for her role as Zakia in a netflix sci-fi show « Sense8 ». In 2016, she made a Nollywood debut when she starred in Nollywood Naija series « Condo ». The movie also starred Frank Donga, Ayo Mogaji, Chris Okagbue, amongst other top Nollywood Entertainment actors. A Nigerian actor and film maker by the name Napoleon Ehi praised and congratulated her for executing her role seamlessly complete with a Nigerian accent.

RUTH NDULU MAINGI

Ruth Ndulu Maingi is a popular and well known Kenyan-Nollywood female actress, producer and dancer born on May 22, 1983. She studied Dance and Movement at a Kenyan Performing Art School. Maingi has featured  in several television shows and movies such as « 18hrs », « Sink or Swim », « The Marshal of Finland », «Orphan », « The distant boat », « The next film maker » and many others. In 2018, the body gifted  actress gets her first role in Nollywood in Lancelot Imasuen’s flick « Family First », a family movie that intended to promote  love among family members. Maingi starred alongside Ike Ogbonna who dumped her for an older Nigerian woman, (Monalisa Chinda – Coker) movie.

PETER KING NZIOKI MWANIA

Peter King Nzioki Mwania, popularly known as Peter King,  born on  14 June 1979, is a Kenyan- male actor. His father was a soldier in the Kenyan Army, and his mother worked at the barracks hospital. At the age of six, he joined in church productions at the Lang’ata Barracks. He completed his Secondary School education from Lang’ata High School. He made acting debut in 2000 at the Kenya National Theatre and served for three years under the guidance of Joab Kanukaa. He is best known for his roles in the films « The Constant Gardener », « The Fifth Estate » and « Sense8 ».. In theater, he played ‘Iago’ in the « Phoenix Players » production of the Shakespeare tragedy « Othello ». In 2005, he made his film debut with a minor role in « The Constant Gardener » directed by Fernando Meirelless. In the same year, he featured as a ‘Barman’ in the television movie « Transit ». In 2016, he featured in Kunle Afolayan’s directional Nollywood Thriller movie « The CEO », where he played the role of ‘Jomo’  . The film had its premier 10 July 2016, at the Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. He made out standing  appearances as ‘Mkwajo’ in award-winning musical « Mo Faya » directed by Eric Wainaina. After several villainous roles, he received the role as stepfather in MTV series « Shuga 2 », then as an inspiring Soccer Coach in « The Inside Story » aired on Discovery Channel; and a Preacher in « The Knife Grinder’s Tale ». In 2016, he was selected for the role as Kenyan crime lord ‘Silas Kabaka’ in the television series « Sense8 ». This particular role made him a popular Tv actor in Kenya.

LIZZ NJAGAH

Elizabeth Anne Achieng’ Njagah, popularly known as Lizz Njagah was  born 26 December, she is  a Kenyan-Nollywood female Actress, Film Director and Producer. She has appeared in a number of television series and films. Born and bred in Nairobi, Kenya, her professional acting career began after she joined the Kenya National Theatre back in 1998. After a year’s tour of duty  at the National, she was awarded the prestigious « KWAL Scholarship », a two – year intensive internship program with « Phoenix Players » where she was greatly involved in the staging of various productions. Lizz then went on tour through South Africa, Mozambique and Kenya with Seok Ho Lee’s play, Sara Bartmaan and the Four Karmas. Lizz further set out into TV and film, playing the lead character Nancy, in the TV series « Makutano Junction » which aired all across Africa on MNET and  Africa Magic Channel, she played the lead character Dr. Salma in Kenya’s first medical drama « Saints ». Her big break was getting cast as fun loving series regular « Tare Duke », in Season 4, 5 and 6 of MNET Nigeria‘s Soap Opera « Tinsel » .She played the leading lady Kingo’ra in Greece/Kenya Film « Return Of Lazarus » (November, 2011). She  finished production on Veve (Sept, 2014) a full length feature film from the makers of « Nairobi Half Life ». Not only  a talented actress, Lizz extends and engages herself into production as well. Through her Film « Outfit ». She has produced and starred in three films. « Me, My Wife And Her Guru » (April, 2010), « Return Of Lazarus » (November, 2011), and one that  hit the big screen in November 2013, a sexy comedy aptly titled « House Of Lungula », she also fetured in  a web series called « In The Fores »t. She also featured in something that was a first for the Kenyan TV and Film Industry, a personality based reality show. She is not called « Kenya’s Busiest Actress » for nothing.

Lizz won a Best Actress award at the concluded London Greek Film Festival for her portrayal of a Kenyan immigrant in Greek/ Kenyan road movie Return Of Lazarus.

NICHOLAS MUTUMA

Nicholas Munene Mutuma is a Kenyan-Nollywood male Actor, commercial model and television host. He has been acting professionally since 2008. In 2005, he joined The United States University (Nairobi), graduating in 2010 with a Bsc. International Business Administration. His first big break on Kenyan television came in 2008 when he was cast in « Tabasamu » (Citizen TV) as « Luka », a young naive college student living in poverty that gets involved with an older woman/ sugar mummy ». In 2008, Nick Mutuma was also cast in MNETs first Pan-African drama series « Changes », directed by Tosh Gitonga, for the role of Richard, a young man who learns that he was kidnapped from the hospital after being born. Mutuma retained the role for three seasons. His break-out role came when he was cast in the drama series MTV « Shuga » (2008); directed by Teboho Mahaltsi, the show revolved around the fast lives of Nairobi youth and their risky sexual behavior. The hit show launched the careers of a new crop of Kenyan actors, including Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o. Mutuma is the only cast member to have reprised his role for all four seasons (Kenya/Nigeria) of the show. The fourth season premiered in September 2015 and was directed by award-winning director Biyi Bandele. In 2014, Mutuma starred in Zuku series « State House », where he played the spoiled and stubborn son of the president of Kenya, who falls in love with the daughter of the ‘help’. The show was directed by Wanuri Kahiu. In 2014, Mutuma became the new host of Africa Magic’s premier Lifestyle TV show Mashariki Mix. The show was ranked third on Africaranking.com one of the most-watched African TVs shows in 2015. He has also hosted the Africa Magic Viewers Choice awards red carpet (2104) and the AMVCA nomination night (2014).

In 2016, Mutuma landed the role of Tomide in the hit Nollywood online series « This Is It » Created, Written and Directed by LowlaDee (Dolapo Adeleke). This Is It began airing 13 September 2016 on LowlaDeeTV’s YouTube Channel and aired across African broadcast stations. Nick Mutuma is widely praised for his performance in the critically acclaimed ongoing series. The second season premiered on 26 September 2017. « This Is It » received an AMVCA Nomination 2018 for Best TV Series .

To conclude, these Kenyan Actors did a debut in the Nollywood industry and have encouraged alot more of partnerships between the two movie industries.

Delia Nyadi

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