Face to face with ‘Mother-in-law’


Originally Published: march 21, 2009

It is Thursday morning and the daily ritual of the hustle and bustle in the city is picking momentum. There are speeding cars to dodge on the road, potholes to avoid and burst sewers to navigate around as crowds push and shove to beat the traffic and be at work on time.

Hurdled next to a building on a busy city street is a group of entertainers getting ready for the shooting of the next episode of their current TV production.

At first glance, many city residents find their faces familiar. But it is only after a second, keen look that one begins to match some of the faces with actors in several local television programmes.

Some cast members are talking among themselves, others giggle and laugh as though they have just succeeded in plotting how best to colonise the next local TV programme. Others, scripts in hand, are immersed in last-minute rehearsals.

“We got the scripts late,” explains Elizabeth Wanjiru who every so often, finds a moment to smile back at an awestruck fan or shake an eager hand.

“I am used to it now,” offers the multilingual Mrs Wanjiru who plays the pesky mother-in-law in a local TV series by the same name. She is fluent in English, French and Kiswahili.

From her blushes though, it is clear she has not quite got used to the attention coming her way. She is one of the many faces that have become familiar across the country as a result of increased local content on TV.

And two women, Naomi Kamau and Catherine Wamuyu, take the credit for a lot of the local soaps.

Over the years, they have worked together to ensure a constant stream of programmes that connect with all Kenyans regardless of tribe, religion or economic status.

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