Brenda Wairimu (Shuga) is ending this decade like she started it – at the centre of a popular local show. She did in 2010 with Philippe Bresson’s Changing Times. In 2019, she did it by headlining not one but two of Kenya’s most popular shows – the Swahili telenovela Selina and the drama series Monica.
Monica, which was created by Scolly Cheruto and directed Neil Schell (Rush), follows Brenda in the titular role of Monica, an ambitious social climber determined to escape her struggling life in the ghetto and become part of the elite of South City.
It’s a dream that soon becomes a reality when she meets the affluent Jiwes, a political family whose patriarch is the governor of the fictitious South City and who might just need some help in running their PR amid all the smear campaigns and rumour-mongering from their political opponents. And who better to help than a recent PR graduate from one of the top universities in London, and with a good background. Yes, you guessed that right. It’s Monica – because how hard can it be to fake some education papers and live a double life?
It’s a role that recently earned Brenda a Kalasha Awards 2019 nomination for Best Actress in a TV Drama, alongside her Selina co-star Celestine Gachuhi.
And while Brenda has been praised by fans for this role, Monica’s strengths also lie in the performances of an outstanding cast that includes screen legend Raymond Ofula (The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind), Joyce Maina (Aisha) Torome Sossion, Fidel Maithya (Selina), Ephy Saint (Tahidi High) and other popular faces that you will immediately recognise.