Gathu, Sanaipei share the secret of their onscreen chemistry on ‘Kina’


Gathu Sanaipei

Gathu, Sanaipei share the secret of their onscreen chemistry on ‘Kina’

Some onscreen couples were meant to be. Like Sanaipei Tande and Jimmi Gathu in their latest roles on Kina, the drama series on Maisha Magic Plus that is also streaming on Showmax.

Directed by the award-winning director Likarion Wainaina (Supa Modo) and AMVCA nominee Victor Gatonye (Dream Child), Kina follows the ruthless battle for survival between the wealthy the powerful and the downtrodden who toil for the rich but reap nothing from their hard work.


At the top are the Tandalas, led by Nana Tandala (Sanaipei), a powerful businesswoman who doesn’t mind getting blood on her hands to protect the empire she’s built.

Fred Tandala (played  by Gathu) is her loving and sometimes over-the-top husband who is also the Deputy Inspector General of Police but is clueless about his wife’s under dealings.

In their roles, Sanaipei and Gathu’s onscreen chemistry is undeniable; they can be goofy in ways that only a couple who are not embarrassed by a little PDA and dinner conversations that make their children uncomfortable can be.

It helps that they’ve been friends for years having first met when Sanaipei was still in the music group Sema.

“We’ve known each other since I got into showbiz at the age of 19,” Sanaipei says, adding that this gives them an added advantage to playing a married couple.


“It’s an advantage but even if he was not my friend this is work: you have to completely forget how you feel about someone personally and get into your role,” she says.

Her sentiments are shared by Gathu, who says being goofy and lovey-dovey in Kina is not a problem.

“We can go as far as is needed. I think we are just both lucky that it was the two of us and not strangers,” he says. “It’s funny because that’s just how goofy I am with my wife as well.”

Fred Tandala brings out a side of Gathu we’ve never seen before in his many years on TV. His previous roles have always demanded a certain sense of seriousness from him. Like in the political drama State House where he played the radical President Kajana. Or in Wanuri Kahiu’s Rafiki where he played John, Kena’s (Samantha Mugatsia) liberal father running for office against a powerful rival.

Other than the range of emotions he’s able to embrace as Fred, Gathu also says his role in Kina has given him a chance to capture exactly how Nairobians speak.


“I’ve always wanted to be part of a show where I’m able to speak Swahili, not overtly straight Swahili but just how Nairobians speak. I’ve done a couple of TV shows where I’m always required to speak either straight English or Swahili but that’s not who we are.”

But unlike Gathu, who’s been in the acting scene for years, this is only Sanaipei’s second major role, and her first not only as a villain but a woman who wields so much power.

“I see myself as a very traditional person therefore having to play a woman who’s more powerful than her husband was a bit difficult for me because I had to detach from what I have known all my life and channel this boss attitude,” she said.

Her biggest challenge, she says, is having to bring out the worst in her to portray Nana – a woman who in the first episode alone drowns a man in the river and buries a girl alive.

“When it comes to parts where I have to raise my voice or be violent, it really takes a lot from me. Sometimes I feel like I’ve spent too much energy that I need to rest before the next scene.”

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EPL player names to be replaced with ‘Black Lives Matters’ slogan

English Premier League players have joined in the fight against racism by having their names replaced with the slogan ‘Black Lives Matters’ when top-flight football returns next week.

Many footballers have voiced their support for the movement following two weeks of global protests after the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by a white policeman in Minneapolis, USA.

The idea was reportedly put forward during Thursday’s meeting as clubs laid down final details for next week’s Premier League return.

In a statement released on Friday, EPL confirmed that ‘Black Lives Matter’ will be on the backs of players’ shirts, with the Premier League confirming they will also support those who wish to ‘take a knee’ before kickoff.

“We, the Players, stand together with the singular objective of eradicating racial prejudice wherever it exists, to bring about a global society of inclusion, respect, and equal opportunities for All, regardless of their colour or creed. This symbol is a sign of unity from all Players, all Staff, all Clubs, all Match Officials and the Premier League #blacklivesmatter #playerstogether,” the statement read.

Colin Kaepernick, an NFL quarterback, was the first sports personality to popularise the one knee which has spread across the world.

Protests are still being experienced in various countries following the death of the African American in the hands of Minnesota policemen.

Several statues are also being brought down ending an era of slavery and racism as politicians in America openly disagree with President Donald Trump.

The Bundesliga has also paid its share of support as players including Jadon Sancho taking a knee during the match.

Rich Mavoko’s sis reveals how they outsmarted Diamond

Rich Mavoko’s sister Wenceslaus Dokii has revealed that his brother was asked by Diamond Platnumz to pay Sh23 million so as to be allowed to terminate the contract he had with the label.

Revisiting the issue in the wake of claims that Rayvanny is also mulling an exit from the label, Mavoko’s elder sister who was at the centre of negotiations leading to her brother’s exit, revealed that they were asked to pay a compensation fee of Tsh500 million (Sh23 Million) but they stood their ground and declined.

His brother’s exit from WCB was a messy and noisy affair rather than a mutual one after he expressed discontent with his contract which he termed as exploitative.

“Walituambia tuwalipe pesa mob, nikamwambia Diamond no we can’t pay you. It was millions of money inalingana kama ya Harmonize. Nilimwambia pia Sallam (Diamond’s manager) you guys nendeni mkajipekue mjitazame tena, hicho kitu mnachokitaka is it fair?” posed Dokii who is an actress and Emcee.

Harmonize was forced to part with the same amount of money last year when he asked to leave.

He was forced to sell his three houses and a piece of land to raise the money.

The compensation was to allow him full rights ownership of songs he did under WCB.

But for Mavoko, the tussles ended up at the Tanzania Music regulatory board Basata, who helped both parties arrive at an amicable solution. Rich Mavoko left without paying anything.

However, it’s not clear if he still owns the rights to the songs he recorded under Wasafi.

Mavoko ditched WCB in 2018, just two years after he hurriedly terminated his contract with Kenyan rapper King kaka label Kaka Empire in 2016.

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