Nyaminde admitted to disliking Vike when she first joined 'Papa Shirandula'.

Award-winning Kenyan actress Jacquey Nyaminde has spoken out on her friendship with co-star Jacky Vike. According to Nyaminde, they knew each other from their time at the Kenya National Theatre before Vike joined the Papa Shirandula set. However, it was not a rosy start for their sisterhood and Nyaminde complained to the producers about Vike’s acting.

“At first, I didn’t like her; she didn’t seem to understand her role. I even approached the producers inquiring on the type of person they'd brought on set,” said Nyaminde. However, with time, their friendship blossomed and the inseparable duo considers each other family.

“Our friendship was built on set. It has grown into a sisterhood as we know what’s happening in each other's lives.  I have the most fun when Vike is on set as the two of us have so many sideshows: We have to be separated at times because we can’t stop talking. Our kids and parents even know each other,” said Nyaminde.

Vike, on the other hand, said joining the set boasting of with well-known acts seemed like a daunting task. “The first time I was so intimidated because they'd already made a name for themselves; I was looking up to them."

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Impact of COVID-19, keeping children off social media

The duo attested to initially feeling scared and panicking after Kenya reported its first COVID-19 case in March but Nyaminde said: “the world is slowly adjusting to the pandemic as we have realized it is something we have to live with. They say when death finds you, let it not find you on your knees but moving.”

The mothers also explained why they keep their children away from social media, with Nyaminde saying a cyber-bullying incident targeting her then-toddler son prompted her to stop sharing his photos. She said: “Social media has become some sort of demon; while it has many benefits there's a demon behind it. I don’t want to introduce my child to social media too soon before he understands it. I have to get his permission to post his photos.

The mothers said they keep their children away from social media because of cyberbullying.

“A celebrity couple recently complained about being told they have an ugly child. Can you imagine that? A long time ago, my child was insulted on social media after a fan shared a photo taken at a social event. You find people asking ‘where’s the father?’ ‘Huyo mtoto anakaa sijui hivi’. I decided never to put my child through that. People are evil out there. Hurt people hurt people; they are going through difficult times and they want to share the hurt.”

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Vike, on the other hand, said that she avoids sharing her child’s photos as she cannot tolerate a netizen insulting her child. She further revealed that during her pregnancy, she was linked to eight men including an MCA she’s never met and even a security guard.  

Industry struggles

Both also attested to weighing other income-generating careers as initially, acting could not pay their bills. But they soldiered on with Nyaminde saying: “I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I love working where it's fun and there’s laughter. I couldn’t imagine myself doing an office job as I had worked as a receptionist at a clinic.”

Nyaminde also decried the hesitation by corporates to hire female entertainers saying they are often compared to their male counterparts.

“There is still a lot of hesitation; so many times, I’ve been on the negotiating table and concerns have been raised if I could entertain crowds like our male counterparts. There are a lot of questions and meet-ups before they settle on you. There’s a lot of doubt and often, they pair up male and female entertainers on stage. But after shows, we’re like ‘But we told you so, we are equally good’.”