Shaniqwa is the newest socialite in town.
Her antics as well documented and so is her wardrobe that leaves little doubt that she is taking no prisoners on ‘Jameni’, a local production showing on KTN.
As she totters on the screen, her flawless skin layered in tonnes of makeup, tight clothes, long weaves and sky-high-heels have become her special identity cementing her as an aspiring socialite who can hold her own against the famous and notorious usual suspects.
But that’s a complete different picture when you get to meet the real man behind the character.
Despite being funny in real life, Kelvin Mwangi is a soft-spoken gentleman, a contrast that would leave one astonished as to how he manages to change characters in a blink of an eye.
For Mwangi, this is not his first appearance as an actor, having had roles in ‘Mheshimiwa’, ‘Comedy Club’ and ‘Heroes Mtaani’.
Q: So who is Shaniqwa?
A: This is a very stubborn lady who has this notion that she is very good looking to a level that she thinks she is fit to compete with the Vera Sidika’s of this world.
Despite the fact that many in the set seem not to believe in her, watch her space because according to the way things are moving in the program, she could be on her way to actualizing her dream sooner than people expect.
Q: Did you actually learn how to play this part or was it something that was inscribed in you since you were young?
A: No! I had no idea I could play a woman’s character so well until my director insisted that I could act better as a woman than as a man. As for Shaniqwa, I had to sit down and do some research on how to ensure that this cap fits me well.
Q: What was the hardest thing that you had to learn in order to bring out well this female character?
A: One of the most difficult tasks was how to walk in high heels, as well as how to take on a female posture especially when I sit down. The make up part has also turned out to be a big challenge considering that we men don’t take too much time on the mirror.
Q: You embrace this role so well that there have been rumours that you maybe trans gendered. Have you ever gone through any sex change procedure?
A: Oh no! That’s nasty. I am a man fully. I am just a normal Kenyan man who has decided to take on comedy in a totally different angle.
Q: Do you think that you can shine acting as a male character as equal as you seem to amaze many taking on a female role?
A: Of cause yes! This is something that is in me and I don’t think it can be distorted when I put on a different shoe.
Q: In a program is there a time that you forget that you are a lady, or in real life do you sometimes find yourself acting as Shaniqwa?
A: I cannot forget to switch to each character anytime I’m needed, to a level that at times it in real life it is hard to convince people that I am Shaniqwa.
Q.Does your role as Shaniqwa affect your real life especially when it comes to dating?
A: Yes sometimes! Especially ladies who know my other role don’t take me seriously when I ask them for a date. As to whether I get hit on by men as Shaniqwa, the answer is no.
Q: Do men sometimes find this lady cute?
A: I don’t think there is a man courageous enough to approach this lady as to tell you the truth she’s not very good looking.
Q: What does your family say about this?
A: Wow, my mum is my number one fan. She cries every time she watches me acting.
My dad on the hand usually comes home early to watch the program, and at the same time calls his friends to remind them ever time I’m on set.