Bottomline: Our Kenyan TV programs should teach children to be themselves by pursuing what they want in future. They pursue whatever career they have passion in at an early age.
At a tender age of 10, she had established herself as an enthusiastic actress playing different roles on national television. Ndela Mwiri, well known as “Lisa” from the role she played in Aziza – a drama aired on Maisha Magic East, shares filming, school and family in an exclusive interview with the Campuserian.
She is now 12 years, and it is two years since media houses queued for interviews. With a budding talent in acting and television hosting, she remembers fondly how her first experience in the filming world was. Gifted with rare eloquence, she has risen through the ranks, playing as Hannah in Maza and as Lisa in Aziza, both local T.V programs airing on East Africa.
“The first time I was nervous and shy, however as we continued with the episodes, I got used to the environment, the set, the crew, cameras and people around me like film directors. It felt like home because I was frequently filming. I’m now more comfortable with almost everything in the film,” said a joyous Ndela, perusing through issue number 10 of the Coast Woman magazine, with Lulu Hassan’s portraiture on the cover page at Silver Palm hotel and spa, Kilifi.
During her free time, Ndela enjoys acting, giving speeches while at school, hanging out with friends. She has also developed love for nature and the environment. She aspires to put up initiatives to conserve the environment in future and push such campaigns through acting.
“When am free; giving speeches, hanging out with my friends, helping my mom at work during weekends and on holidays. Because I’m in boarding, we will always hang out with friends. I come home on weekends to look after my pets: rabbits, dogs and fish. I have to feed them every morning. I also hope I can get more pets next year,” said Ndela.
She draws motivation from people around her including her family, the people on set and the entire crew during the shoots since she works with a lot of elderly people who impact her positively. She also keeps tabs with popular television presenters Lulu Hassan and Rashid Abdalla of Citizen T.V, who mentor her on media, guiding her so that her dream of hosting a kids program on national T.V can come true in the foreseeable future.
” A lot of people inspired me like my parents and the people on set. Lulu, Rashid of Citizen T.V, the crew of “Maza” have really inspired me since it was my first time on set so they were literary teaching me everything, said Ndela,” beaming with contentment.
Her role models from the local and the international film industry are the crew that gave her the first opportunity out of the blues. Primarily because of her confidence and inquisitiveness while they were filming, were her initial role models. She has followed programs on local and international television to keep her acting skills top-notch.
“Locally, I have everyone who was in Maza and Aziza. They really inspired me. Globally, my role models are Lupita Nyong’o , some other actors and actresses in shows like Nickelodeon, Disney and family movies which have children as casts,” said Ndela.
Her activities while filming are marred by challenges at times she explains how acting isn’t just a walk in the park. The rehearsals normally require a lot compared to the actual filming. Moreover, she is now a household name in the mainstream media with events queued on her daily schedule.
“Sometimes I will have shooting followed with another major event. For instance, I might have a shoot then a family event or a get together with my friends-who assist me in knitting sequences and scenes for film. I could have a school function after a major shoot, this can be a stumbling block,” said Ndela, smiling as she fondled with the mini microphone on her collar.
“I have to find a way to cancel one or attend both. I, however, can’t forego filming,” said Ndela jokingly.
Ndela is currently awaiting her K.C.P.E exams in late 2020, to her, dreams are big. She spoke to the Coast Woman on her ambition to be a zoologist, environmentalist or a Hollywood actress in future.
Someone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new, says Albert Einstein. Dreams are extremely important. You can’t do it unless you imagine it-George Lucas.
In her endeavors, the 12-year-old studying at Mudzini school attributes all the hard work she puts into her acting, to her mother’s support. Her mom enables her to diversify her acting skills so that whenever she appears on television, it appears unique, vibrant and fresh.
“My mother supports me a lot. She is always with me during the live events, my interviews and award events. She is normally at work during our shooting sessions but whenever free, she always comes and sticks with me during filming,” said Ndela with a broad smile.
At only 12 years, the youngster has played different roles on national television. Two programs airing on Maisha Magic East have provided her with a platform to potentially develop into a superstar. She is even aspiring to get more opportunities in future under Lulu Hassan and Rashid Abdalla’s tutelage.
She shared how her role in Aziza boosted her self esteem since she is now an outgoing person. Narrating how the character she played almost portrayed the real her. The other film she took part in was Maza as Hannah.
“In Aziza, I played Lisa. She was this type of lady who always wanted what she wanted and somehow got it all. It has been awesome playing these different characters getting to adapt to each setting,” said Ndela.
In her own perspective, the youngster views acting as a serious profession with a lot of challenges. She spoke how hard it could be exhibiting varying emotions when on set and how she takes a lot of time to compose herself so as to show emotions during the filming sessions.
“While acting, I have to do some things I’m not used to like portraying different emotions. Let’s say it’s crying. I’m a usually a jovial person sometimes expected to cry in the program to show emotion. Such is so challenging when on set,” explained Ndela.
Recently, she got recognized for her efforts in her budding profession. The Coast Woman issued a certificate of achievement during its gala awards held at Travellers Beach Hotel on November 15, 2019. She also scooped another award organised by the crew that offered her debut on T.V film Maza two years ago when she was just 10.
“I was humbled by the Coast Woman Awards Galla Dinner, where I clinched a certificate of achievement presented to me by Sibylle Kroener on the 15th of November, 2019. The other one was an award for Maza, where I won the best young actor in the T.V show,” said Ndela.
“I was more comfortable with my role in Aziza compared to Maza. Though both roles we’re good as I got the opportunity to play a part in both television shows.,” said Ndela.
Her lifestyle is more outgoing which helps her to be more creative in preparation for the next episodes. Balancing schoolwork, house chores,family and leisure makes enables her to ostensibly pick up more roles in future as she tries to actualize her dreams. She has become stickler to Steve Job’s mantra that “your time is limited, so don’t waste it trying to live someone else’s life”
“During weekdays, I’m in school. Shoots take place during weekends and holidays. I have Sundays as my free day. I hang out with my family, friends, develop ideas for my consequent episodes and generally have fun whether I’m home or at mum’s workplace,” said Ndela.
With popular musicians facing government wrath for using art to show weaknesses in our leaders’ and skewed system. For instance, King Kaka took Kenya by storm, late 2019 with his “wajinga nyinyi” spoken word. Ndela feels if the media doesn’t defend media freedom, who will? She opines that the media should empower children to aspire in pursuit of their dreams.
“Our Kenyan TV programs should teach children to be themselves by pursuing what they want in future. They pursue whatever career they have passion in at an early age. If you want to be a doctor and your dad is one, you got to follow him to work, get to know the kind of duties he does, how exactly he goes about it. You should also watch, science shows to create interest and sustain it so you can grow your dream of becoming a doctor in future. Most people cannot stand up for themselves because of wrong career choices. Do what you love,” said Ndela in between smiles.
Ndela still lacks an elaborate management team. However, her mum does her all the donkey work. She is the primary manager for now and gets support from Ndala’s elder brothers and sisters. Ndela is lastborn in a family of five that includes two brothers: Khalfan, Kalachu and two sisters: Lindah and Maysarah. Moreover, popular T.V presenters Lulu Hassan and Rashid Abdallah assist her in pitching roles on television beside mentoring her on T.V show hosting.
“I do not have any management but I have one at the same time. My mother does it all. She does all the hard work for me. My family also helps. My brothers, sisters my dad really helped me organise my feelings in acting different scenes. They bolster my acting techniques with new ideas this makes my acting fresh every time I’m on set. Lulu Hassan and Rashid Abdallah are also part of my team. They’re always planning for my next move,” said Ndela.
“We do not meet often because they ( Lulu and Rashid) are in Nairobi and I’m in Kilifi but we are constantly in contact communication. They are planning to meet me soon to talk about something. I do not know what they’ve planned for me but I’m optimistic of future roles on Kenyan programs,” said Ndela.
The youngster discussed her future aspirations with what she would love her acting to translate into, in the foreseeable future. She loves nature and the environment thus using her acting in future to advocate for the fundamentals that matter most to her, environmental and wildlife conservation.
“I just want to continue acting, being in the media and having fun. Maybe in future, if I will still have my friends, we can make a Youtube channel or something bigger and better, ” said Ndela.
Right now, I’m focused on my national exams so we cannot be on Youtube yet. I want to continue acting using it as an awareness medium for conservation which am enthusiastic about,” explained Ndela, giggling gorgeously.