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Cast spotlight: Habida Moloney (Harriet) – Zari

30 April 2024
She is a multi-talented award-winning artist and a mother of two.
habida, harriet, habida moloney, zari

Harriet has become a household name amongst Zari fans but to the world she is Habida Moloney, an award-winning singer and songwriter. We recently caught up with her and this is what she shared with us. 

Do share your background, where you were born, grew up and went to school. 

I was born in Nairobi at the Aga khan hospital. I grew up in the city of Nairobi, my father was the principal of Saint Mary’s School, so we lived on the school grounds.  My mother was a PA at CMC Motors group. I have one sister who is younger than me. We had a simple but very fulfilling life. 

How would you describe your music style and which project are you most proud of? How many awards have you won? 

I am a child of the world as I am a mixture of 4 countries. I use all my influences in my music. I am Somali, Kenyan, Irish, and English. I have lived in Europe, Africa and the US. All these influences come through in my music. So, I would call my music a fusion of Zuuk, afro pop and RnB. 

Tell us 5 things about yourself that people do not know about you. 

  • I have terrible OCD – Everything has to be in order. 

  • I have a sweet tooth. 

  • I used to be a power lifter. 

  • I am Pokomo 

 You have collaborated with various musicians. Which one was your most memorable one? 

Working with Nameless was very interesting. It was a learning process also as it was my first song in Kenya. He was a great artist to learn from.  

How many albums do you have, and which one is your favourite? 

I have never done an album, but I have over 3 EP’s my favourite is Keep on Walking, it was recorded in Nigeria which was a very enjoyable experience. They are a culture that embraces African music as well as effort, they are vibrant and open. 

Share with us your experience on Zari. How did you get involved?  

I got involved quite interestingly, I met with Rashid and he said there was a role that would fit me. I auditioned for the decision to be made between me playing Zanelle or Harriette. It has been enjoyable but challenging as I have had to learn lines quite quickly and I have never worked on a project so big, so juggling life and the show has been a challenge. 

Which moments on set have been most memorable?  

When we work together as a team to get done what has not been done in Kenya before. To see the dedication on set no matter how tired and worn out we all are. 

 If you were not playing Harriet, who on Zari would you play?  

I love being Harriet, Harriet fits me perfectly. But if I was to pick it would be Nina. 

What is about the Harriet character that drew you in? 

She is independent and strong. She is fearless and always want to do the right thing. 

Do you see a Harriet in Habida? 

Completely, I run away from conflict. I fight for what is right. I don’t like drama. 

If a movie was to be made about you, who would you want to play you and why? 

Halley Berry, I think she is a diverse actress 

How is a day in the life of Habida look like? 

  • I start with my children; I get them ready for school. 
  • I go to the gym when I can. I try to go everyday as I feel it's important for mental health 
  • I get to set. If I am not on set, I am creating content, in the studio, or in meetings creating my brands 
  • I do my best to be home with the kids in the evening and put them to bed 
  • I am studying to formulate, so I do this when the kids go to bed, or I take meetings   

What influenced you to pursue a career in acting? 

I have always been in love with acting and singing since I was a child. It is in me. 

What is the best advice you have ever been given? 

Be authentically you everyone else is taken! 

List some of your achievements. Which one are you most proud of? 

  • Bachelor’s degree in Performing Arts – most proud of my degree as it was not a simple achievement for me having to pay for it myself as a foreign student in the US 
  • Winner of Listener’s Choice MTV award 
  • 3-time Nominee of channel O awards – best singer, best song in East Africa 

Catch Habida play Harriet on Zari every Monday to Friday at 8:30 pm only on DStv 163 and GOtv 3.  

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