We first fell in love with Ken Ambani on Kenya's first TV Drama 'Tushauriane'. Here's a scoop on what his real life is like...
We know you...but we don’t...who are you?
I am an alumnus of Moi University’s school of Communication and PR, a humble Kenyan, born in Busia county to Mary Wanjiru and the late Mzee Ambani Mudinyu. I was raised in Bakarani at the Coastal city of Mombasa by my step dad Mohamed Hassan. I have three children and currently live and work in Nairobi.
You have had a successful acting career that spans over 20 years, when did you get your big break?
Although I acted a lot when I was younger and even won awards, my first opportunity to act professionally was in Tushauriane, a Swahili drama series that was done from Sauti House- KBC Mombasa. Immediately after that, we started the first ever English drama series called Fate Makers.
We shot 13 episodes before I moved to Nairobi to work in Kenya Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (currently Postal Corporation of Kenya). While in Nairobi I got to meet Kibwana Onguso the producer for Tausi, he noticed my talent and I got the job.
The show was the big break that made me a household name. Since then I have acted in: Maisha, Noose of Gold, Block D, Wingu la Moto, Cobra Squad, Mali, Tusker Milli na Marafiki game show, Makutano Junction, Nairobi Law, Siri, Shuga ll, Jacob’s Cross, Sumu, Twisted, and Nuru.
What does your woman have to say about the love scenes?
Acting as a career requires a lot of understanding from one's partner. The roles we play are sometimes provocative and ‘intimate’ so one needs a lot of understanding. Education on what happens in front and behind the cameras is necessary for a peaceful family environment.
My experience in this industry has taught me to be professional and treat acting like any other serious job. Being professional has brought me this far. I now have 25 years since I ventured into acting. I have strived to involve my children what I do as an actor so they know what dad does when he's away at work.
So what keeps you going?
I love the lessons I pick from every different story line I encounter and the challenges involved in understanding, conceptualizing and internalizing the character of the role I am given to play.
Have you ever turned down a role?
I will only get into a production with a clear mind that I understand what I am getting involved in as an actor; the story/script does not go against my values, integrity and beliefs and according to my understanding, the role fits my physical and intellectual capacity to hack it.
For example, I was once asked to play a role that I wasn't okay with so I turned it down and the people I work with know it very well, if something contradicts my faith and beliefs, I do go for it.
Are you a family man?
I was married once. The mother of my first child died. The second relationship I tried, never worked, even after getting two beautiful angels. We agreed to go separate ways because it was irreconcilable. She moved on.
It has not been easy for me and the children but what has helped is that we have a very close relationship. My number one goal is to make my children happy. I have also healed and currently have a fiancée (you will get the details soon).
Do you have a main hustle?
I work as an assistant manager, Sales at the Postal Corporation of Kenya.
So where are we most likely to get you if not on our screens?
I spend some good amount of my lifetime working out in and out of the gym. I also love listening to good music and dancing if the time and environment allows. Acting in itself is fun to me.
What projects do you have lined up for 2016?
Several drama series I have been involved in are ongoing and they include: Mchungaji on QTV, Makutano Junction on Citizen TV and one yet to be launched on Zuku called Nuru, plus I have some short films in the pipeline.