Kenyan actress Serah Ndanu

Ever wondered which of our favourite Kenyan celebs deserve the top roles in Hollywood? Well your wait is over! Find out which stars we think have what it takes.

This February there’s a whole new line-up of series and movies on streaming service Showmax - like the multi-award winner The Handmaid’s Tale S1.

With actresses like Elisabeth Moss taking on iconic roles such as Offred in The Handmaid’s Tale, how about we throw our Kenyan actresses right into the mix. The world of television is vast and full of roles, but can our favourite actresses pull off some of the most famous roles on television?

Here are 8 who we think really stand a chance.


1. Serah Ndanu as Gabrielle Solis, Desperate Housewives

Wisteria Lane’s beloved femme fatale Gabrielle Solis starts out as somewhat of a spoilt brat; she believes that all she ever needs in this life is her pretty face for everything to fall at her feet. When she’s bored with her marriage, she seeks pleasure in the arms of her young ripped gardener. She may have started off feeling entitled but that’s not to say we didn’t love her from the moment we saw her, the way she owned her sexiness and flaunted it to the rest of the world.



Desperate Housewives, the complete box set from S1 – 8 is streaming on Showmax. Watch now »

Anyone who’s watched Sumu la Penzi will agree that no Kenyan actress wears bold and sexy like Serah Ndanu did with her character Mariam. Like Eva Longoria (Solis), Ndanu owns all her roles with just the right amount of flamboyance to turn heads around without even trying too hard.

Catch Serah Ndanu on Sunrise and Twisted, both on Showmax. Watch now »


2. Joyce Maina as Emily Fields, Pretty Little Liars

Emily Fields is the quintessential sweet girl next door, and while described as the weakest link by A, it is her caring attitude that holds the group together even when they turn on each other.




Pretty Little Liars S1-6 is now streaming on Showmax. Watch now »

When it comes to fashion, Joyce Maina could easily be Aria Montgomery, always experimental and pushing boundaries with her style. But relying on personality alone, Joyce Maina’s previous roles – Sumu la Penzi, Wrath, Aisha - lead her to Emily Fields, the relatively introverted girl who always sees the good in everyone.

Find Joyce Maina in This Is It S2, Wrath and 2017 Kalasha Award nominee Aisha, all streaming on Showmax. Watch now »


3. Shix Kapienga as Arya Stark, Game of Thrones

Remember when we all first saw Arya Stark in Game of Thrones Season 1 episode Winter is Coming? She was just a tiny adorable tomboy, begging her father not to call her cute like her sister Sansa and wielding a wooden sword with dreams of becoming a great "swordsman" one day. When tragedy befalls House Stark, Arya learns to survive and trains with the Faceless Men to become No One, one of the most lethal assassins in Westeros.



Binge-watch Game of Thrones S1-7 now streaming on Showmax. Watch now »

Tiny as she may seem, Shix Kapienga is a survivor you definitely think twice before crossing in the endless possibility world of television. She may play a victim of sexual assault in Shuga (that didn’t stop her from going after the life she wanted) but she broke free from her comfort zone and transformed into the confident commercial sex worker Amina in Nairobi Half Life.

Nairobi Half Life and MTV’s Shuga are now streaming on Showmax. Watch now »


4. Mumbi Maina as Mary Jane Paul, Being Mary Jane

Mary Jane may have a mess of a life and numerous failed relationships to show for it, but she refuses to be a victim. Sure, she’s had her rock-bottom moments but she always finds a way to rise above it and build a successful career while at it.



Being Mary Jane S1-3 is streaming on Showmax. Watch now »

Like Mary Jane, Mumbi Maina is stubborn, at least from what we’ve seen in her TV roles – How to Find a Husband, Jane and Abel and Sense8, to name but a few. She's not a woman who would let herself be pushed into a corner; she rarely plays such characters anyway. And if she does, trust her indomitable attitude, she will get out of it.

Find Mumbi Maina as Jackie in How to Find a Husband, as Cecelia in Jane and Abel and as Jojo in Mbithi Masya’s Kati Kati, all on Showmax. Watch now »


5. Lizz Njagah as Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

Carrie Bradshaw ruled the early 2000s, every woman wanted to be her or rather dress, date and drink like her. In her endless search for true love, she gave us some of the best stories about dating in New York and memories that will always stay with us. As Carrie taught us, we still refuse to settle for “anything less than butterflies.” Or do we?



Sex and the City, the complete box set from S1-6 is now streaming on Showmax. Watch now »

Now imagine Sex and the City in Nairobi instead of New York. Atta girl! Now imagine it in the hands of Lizz Njagah and not Bradshaw. I wonder what would have become of her character Abigail (a woman who is desperate to find "the one" and settle down) in How to Find a Husband had the show moved forward past Season 1!

For some of her best roles, you can find Lizz in Fundimentals, House of Lungula, Jane and Abel and How to Find a Husband now streaming on Showmax. Watch now »


6. Patricia Kihoro as Issa Dee, Insecure


Issa Rae or Issa Dee as she is known in HBO’s Insecure oozes black girl magic as she takes us all through her awkward and turbulent life as she deals with romantic relationships, friendships and career. She’s outgoing, the kind of person you’d want to hang out with at a party - though that’s not to say she won’t embarrass you at some point – the perks of being awkward.



Insecure S1 is now streaming on Showmax. Watch now »

Not that Patricia Kihoro is awkward or anything (I wouldn’t know, the few times we’ve shared the same space, we are always so many tables apart) but seeing as she embraces her black girl magic with so much commitment, I don’t see why this would not work out. What’s more, the fact that she is part of Jason Runo’s improv comedy group Because You Said So says so much about her chances of pulling off an awkward role like Issa’s. Plus, she can sing and Issa can rap, what more do you need?

Catch Kihoro in Rush and Groove Theory now streaming on Showmax. Watch now »


7. Sarah Hassan as Carmen Luna, Devious Maids


Devious Maids' Carmen Luna is probably the most devious of all the maids; she yearns for a successful singing career plus the fame that comes with it and will do whatever it takes to get there. Quite the fashion savvy one too, Carmen knows how to look her best, whether she is dusting her employer’s house or comparing notes with her friends on the latest dirt on the high and mighty of Beverly Hills.



Devious Maids S1-3 is now streaming on Showmax. Watch now »

If Sarah Hassan can own a role where she sneaks around with her chef right under her husband’s nose – How to Find a Husband – then she qualifies to be as devious as Carmen, and look equally stunning while at it.

Catch Sarah Hassan in How to Find a Husband, Jane and Abel and House of Lungula now streaming on Showmax. Watch now »


8. Eve D’Souza as Bow Johnson, Black-ish

You have to be a little quirky to pull off the role of Blackish’s Rainbow Johnson. And even though Eve D’Souza may not fancy the bohemian chic style that Bow so effortlessly adorns, the awkwardness she brings to her character Varshita in Auntie Boss will work to her advantage.



Black-ish S1-2 is now streaming on Showmax. Watch now »

Varshita may be a little "extra" and rough around the edges to fit perfectly into the Johnson’s home but that only means that she will keep everyone in line including the sassy meddling mother-in-law Ruby. Or at least they’d go head to head, seeing as both Ruby and Varshita are experts at playing devious little games.

Catch Eve D’Souza as Varshita in Auntie Boss S1-7 now streaming on Showmax. Watch now »


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