List of underrated Kenyan actors and actresses who deserve more credit

Mumbi Maina - Her role as Zakia in the Netflix sci-fi show Sense8 was a highlight of her acting career.

Piece by: Naomi Waweru

• Here is a list of 7 underrated Kenyan actors and actresses who deserve more credit.

• Making a name for yourself as an actor here in Kenya has proven to be a hustle

on Kina
Actor Sanaipei Tande on Kina
Image: Instagram

The film industry in Kenya has made long strides as actors strive to brake international records and make a name for themselves.

Here is a list of 7 underrated Kenyan actors and actresses who deserve more credit.

1. Makena Kahuha

Currently per-taking a psychology course at the University of Nairobi the beautiful Makena is one of Kenyan's most underrated actors.

Narrating her acting career to Maisha Magic east she confessed to having started working at the age of 6 after her mom asked the director of a show (Wingu La Moto) to cast her for a role.

Popularly known as Zuri - a young, passionate, caring, somewhat naïve, and spoilt 24-year-old girl-on the most watched local series known as Kina aired on Showmax's Maisha magic. 

The beautiful Makena has also acted on Liberty in 2018 and Country Queen.

Now an Executive Producer and an actor on a Web Series called ‘MID YOUNG CRISIS’ on Instagram.

Makena Kahuha
Kenyan actor Makena Kahuha
Image: Instagram

2. Jimmi Gathu

He has had a career spanning more than 25 years and graced our television screens, radio waves, billboards, and state functions. 

He is known for: State House (2014) a modern-day political drama, Kamtupe (2022) is a story about a government official trying to locate his relative in the wrong neighborhood.

Rafiki (2018), is a touching story of two young women who fall in love in homophobic Kenya, a place where it can get you beat up by a mob or imprisoned.

Jimmi has also acted in Kina a programme that airs on Maisha Magic East. 

Jimmy Gathu
Kenyan actor Jimmy Gathu
Image: Instagram

3. Gathoni Mutua

She is best known for her Assistant Directing work on pilots, shorts, and features, most notably A Game of Words. Having gotten a BA in Theater Arts in Kenya and Canada.

She has an appearance in the legendary film Lucifer season 1 as a Club Patron.

In Single Kiasi, that airs on Showmax she played Sintame. It's a romance drama that follows three friends in Nairobi – Sintamei, Mariah, and Rebecca – as they deal with marriage, relationships, and careers.

Gathoni Mutua
Kenyan actor Gathoni Mutua
Image: Instagram

4. Serah Teshna

She is known for Igiza (2022) a file about Nicole a girl who breaks out of prison and swaps life with her twin sister trying to get back to her normal life.

The Rugged Priest (2011) is a film directed by Bob Nyanja, based on the life and death of John Anthony Kaiser.

Sue Na Jonnie (2017) is a film where two people who live double lives get up to all sorts of shenanigans - and will do anything to keep it a secret in this sitcom about mistaken identity in Maisha Magic.

Serah Teshna
Image: Instagram

5. Sanaipei Tande

Musician/actor/former radio presenter is among Kenya's most underrated especially for her acting and has been in the showbiz business for almost 16 years.

She has acted in films such as Kina's leading role as the unscrupulous businesswoman and villain Nana Tandala.

2019 - Aziza as Aziza 2017 

2018 - Varshita as Eva

2016 - Auntie as Boss!

Sanaipei Tande
Kenyan actor Sanaipei Tande
Image: Instagram

6. Mumbi Maina

A Kenyan actress is known for her role in the soap opera Mali. 

Her role as Zakia in the Netflix sci-fi show Sense8 was a highlight of her acting career.

She has also acted in Nasfi, La Femme Anjola, Kati Kati, The Matrix, Resurrections, ‘Unseen, Unsung, Unforgotten’ Shattered, and Happy Anniversary.

She has been in both domestic and foreign films since 2009 as a dancer and actor.

Mumbi Maina
Kenyan actor Mumbi Maina
Image: Instagram

7. Lydia Gitachu

She has been multi-nominated for the different roles she has played in stage plays and films. 

She made her debut in a television commercial as well as a television series called Reflections which aired on KBC. 

She has also acted in Kina as Redepmta, a house help in the Tandala’s household. 

She has also directed plays, trained upcoming actors, and participated in radio theatre.

Lydia Gitachu
Kenyan actor Lydia Gitachu
Image: Instagram