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1. Congratulations on your win for Best lead actress in Film at Kalasha 2011. Did you expect to win?

No. It was a stiff competition and there was no way to really tell who would have taken it. I actually thought either Liz Njagah or Lydia Gitachu would take it but you never know what God has in store *big smile*

2. What was the first thing that came to your mind when you heard your name get called out?
I thought they were wrong. I just wanted them to call my name over and over again. It was like a slap. The biggest surprise ever.

3. Were the Kalasha awards 2011 fair?

Yes, I think they were very fair. Based on the fact of they rewarded and am not saying that because I won. For example, Kamau Mbaya, the Machachari kid, he is a good actor and he deserved it and the other guys as well I think they really deserved it. So yes I really think it was really really fair. Siri is another example. It has been getting so many nominations but never won and the fact that they won this time round made a lot of sense.

4. Should Kalasha attach some monetary value to the trophy?

Oh Definitely. Apart from the trophy, some token of appreciations should be added and attached. I know we are not as big as the Oscars or BET but we all start from somewhere. If we give something small for example money, that is a motivation and recognition. It is a boost in our lives and careers. And through such small initiatives we are going to grow more.*big grin*

5. Isnt the trophy enough recognition?

It is but uhmm mmh how do I put this in such a polite way? Apart from the title on the trophy, there has to be that small something added to it. They should really consider it.

6. Where is your trophy right now?

It is at home in my room. Do you know what happened. I could not sleep that night for fear of waking up and find it missing. It is now a reason for me to wake up .I feel I have to do something to live up to that trophy now. It has now made me obligated to it.

7. Describe your whole experience of shooting the rugged priest?

One word: AMAZING! Gosh, this was my first movie. It was a level of professionalism that I had never experienced. It was a whole new leaf in my acting career. The fact that we travelled out of town to go shoot this movie and the commitment. was wow!…That is the thing I love about Bob Nyanja ,he always held our hand and encouraged us to do our short it was a whole new experience in my life and the memories are still stuck.

serah ndanu

8. Describe your role Alice in the rugged priest.

Challenging role right there.sighs! At the beginning of the movie we see a very young girl 15years old..uhhm..she was brought up in a Christian family and she goes through a series of experiences in her life..She is raped by this politician, she is traumatized. She wants to forget everything that has happened in her life so she moves to a village to forget her past . In the new village she becomes a teacher and fortunately or unfortunately she meets a priest from her old village and they become good friends and very good friends and friends with benefits and suddenly abcd leads to Z and they make love and Alice gets pregnant. The priest is now forced to take up responsibility. He leaves priesthood and becomes a man. And they get married and lived happily ever after. *chuckles*

9. Is that the total opposite of Serah Ndanu?
Total opposite.

10. Was it easy playing Alice based on your personal principals?

No it was not. At first when I saw the script I fell in love with it. I loved the 1st few pages of the script. But the more I read the script I saw Alice character coming out. Me being a catholic, I was not sure I was ready to be Alice. Did I mention I was once an alter girl? (smiles) Anyway, I had my mum in my mind and kept on thinking is she going to like this or appreciate this?..It was quite a challenge actually. At some point I actually told Bob Nyanja that I would not do this. But Bob convinced me otherwise!making me look at this as me being an ambassador. I should not do this viewing it as my church but look at it like I was doing this for the people whose cries were not heard. Those innocent girls who suffer in the hands of brutal men. Some of who are hiding in church.

11. The romantic scene of you and Lwanda Jawar kissing, should we expect babies from the two of you soon?

*Laughs* Now, this is where I get to use the word professionalism. There was nothing more than what you saw on the screen. But I should admit it was the most difficult scene to do. Every time we got to the kissing point, I would back up a bit and yell cut! But like I said, I was not doing this for me.

12. How did you land that lead role?

I was called for auditions and I went. So many girls showed up. But one thing I normally tell myself is whenever you go for auditions or interviews, tell yourself that you are the best and believe in yourself. The minute I walked into the room and did my thing, I felt it. I connected with the role before I even got it. After the auditions, I heard someone say wow I went home knowing this is for me. They took a while calling back and after 2 to 3 days I thought eeh, ok maybe I did not get it. But after a week, Bob Nyanja called me and the rest is history.

13. Upcoming actors always like to hear how other actors started acting. What is your story?

I actually started when I was quite a kid, from church, then kindergarten,you know those Tom and Marry story books? I always wanted to be Mary.I Participated in singing games and all then drama teacher Mr Bernard Emacar gave me a main role when I was in class 5. Which was something because drama was only for class 6 onwards. The play I was involved in called The conspiracy won and I got the best actress in the National drama festivals back then. From that point it has been on and on. He is the same person who helped me do the burden..A high school set book yet I was in primary. I continued working with Bernard till after high school doing set books. In university I met Jeremy Nyagah and he introduced me to Onesmus Muturiwho then casted me for Nairobi law. And I got the role as an intern in Mwakos(Raymond wafula) law firm and that is how I started.

serah ndanu

14. Having been on the movie Conflicted Succession, done a role in Nairobi law, briefcase Inc and now a kalasha award, do you feel like you are now an established actor?
I would not say so. I feel like there is more that I need to do. Winning this award, as much as it has came so soon has put me on another level true,but I feel I need to be out there doing something more. It is only a start.

15. What is the hardest thing about being an actress in Kenya?

WOW! Where to begin? People always relate you to the roles you are doing. People still find it hard differentiating the character from the person. Back in the days, acting was not taken seriously. It was considered a lazy bums thing. No one took you seriously when you said you are an actress. But now things have changed. There is a lot of transition. Now I say am an actress and they pull their chairs and give you their attention. Local productions are being embraced and I am happy. The tables are turning.

16. Are your currently working on any project?

Yes but am not allowed to disclose. All I can say is am working on 3 projects and will disclose that when we get there.

17. 5 years from now?

Hollywood baby!*laughs*.I believe I will be doing bigger things. At this age and where I am going, it is a manifestation. So who knows, I might be next to Brad Pitt, or Tom Cruise. Who knows?

18. What are the most important qualities an actress should have?

Discipline and Principals. Be Focused. Be true to yourself. Have integrity and be honest.

19. Is acting your number one profession?

I do something else on the side apart from acting. Although we are heading there, we have not reached the level where we can take up acting fully as a profession. I work as a conference tourism and event manager for my own company called Contemporary events and Consulting services.

20. Dating life are you single?

Yes I am, but I know someone who will jump of a cliff if they read this.*laughs out*

21. Any last remarks?

I would just like to thank everyone who has supported me. My mentors, the people who have always encouraged me and the people who stood by my side. A big thank you for those who voted for me as well. As a word of encouragement to those upcoming and still struggling like me., there is one quote I like “BE LIKE A STAMP, STICK TO IT TILL YOU GET THERE. ” No Matter what, do not give up no matter how long it takes, you will get there.

Below is a video of Serah Ndanu thanking you for voting for her.


View Serah Ndanus acting profile here.

Interview done by Gerald Langiri.

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