Guests and winners at the ninth Kalasha Awards in Nairobi.

Defying the heavy downpour witnessed in Nairobi on Saturday night, the crème de la cream in the film and entertainment industry graced the Kalasha International Awards held at Safari Park Hotel where this year’s winners were honoured.

It was a challenging night for the organisers with the rains disrupting the open ground red-carpet show. The magnificently lit main dome had to be moved.

Prominent guests and industry players received a warm welcome at the dome when the setting up by a dedicated team was complete. Dressed by celebrated Kenyan fashion designers, the nominees strutted their way to the VIP slots with anxiety growing by the minute as the hour of truth drew close.

Pascal Tokodi.

And as expected, some big names in the film industry stole the show, both on the red-carpet and on the podium. Pascal Tokodi, the lead actor in popular TV drama show Selina, scooped the Lead Actor in a TV Drama show accolade to an ecstatic cheer from the crowd. Pascal excelled in a competitive group that also featured Joe Kinyua (Njoro wa Uba), Leon Ongaya (Pete), Benjamin Onyango (The Wives) and Maqbul Mohamed (Varshila).

It was a glorious night for celebrated actress Nice Githinji who won the Best Lead Actress in a TV Film award beating Brenda Wairimu (Monica), Celestine Gachuhi (Selina), Sahara Mohamed (Pete), and Maryanne (The Wives). The award was presented by actor George Kagwa and Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris.

Sarah Hassan was accorded the coveted Best Actress in a Film award for her main role in Plan B. Gorgeously dressed, Sarah strutted her way to the podium where she was awarded the magnificent gong that comes with a 42-inch TV and Star Times decoder. George Mo won the Best Lead Actor in a Film award for his lead role in Lost in Time. The film also had its director Peter Kawa taking home the Best Director award.

Sarah Hassan with her award.

“As I join you here for the 2019 edition of the Kalasha Film and TV Awards, I am amazed by the glamour I see here tonight, obviously an improvement of last year. With much gratitude, I take this opportunity to recognise the organisers and the sponsors for supporting this event,” said ICT and Innovation Principal Secretary Jerome Ochieng.

“I commend the commission for keeping up with the elaborate process of the awards and the integrity behind it,” he noted.

Also present were Kenya Film Classification Board Chief Executive Ezekiel Mutua, Kenya Film Commission CEO Timothy Owase and former Kenya Film Commission CEO Chris Foot among other dignitaries.