14 February 2022
Mariah: Single Kiasi actress on playing the slay queen
In the just-launched Kenyan Showmax Original series, Minne Kariuki steps into the designer shoes of Mariah Single Kiasi slay queen and resident glamazon. The show, which has already won the hearts of millions of Kenyans, follows three friends on the cusp of their 30s as they navigate life and love in Nairobi. Mariah Single Kiasi is the boldest of the three, doing whatever it takes to live the high life – or so it seems.
Behind the designer clothes, finest champagnes, private jets and envy-inducing apartment in the city, Mariah is not the independent woman she wants her followers to believe. Instead, her fancy lifestyle is financed by an older, married man (played by Mburu Kimani), whom she fondly refers to as JK or Zaddy.
Mariah: Single Kiasi actress interview
Speaking about portraying Mariah in Single Kasi, Minne said, “It’s the audacity of Mariah for me. It’s one of the things that attracted me to this role. She’s openly telling people that she’s a boss lady and that she’s an independent woman, but on the flip side, it’s all fake,” Minne says.
“When I read the script, I kept asking myself, ‘What goes through her head? Why would you pick up a camera and fake a life that you don’t even live for the gram?’ I fell in love with the character immediately because her life is exactly what we see on social media today.”
For the actress and entrepreneur, playing Mariah Single Kiasi allowed her to bare it all and highlight modern women’s issues. “What we’re doing in society right now is, we’re ‘carpeting’ the real stories. Issues such as infertility are breaking marriages,” she said, adding, “When Mariah is forced to go back and face her traumatic past, she becomes a voice to so many women who are afraid or who have not had the chance to own their scars.”
Mariah Single Kiasi actress, Minne Kariuki
With Mariah, Minne Kariuki steps into familiar territory. In 2019’s Ma’Empress, she played Crystal, a slay queen who becomes friends with three other women when her life falls apart after a social media incident.
At a glance, it’s easy to compare her Ma’Empress character with Mariah Single Kiasi. But Mariah takes Minne on a more profound and emotional journey in the 13 episodes of Single Kiasi than Crystal ever did. Like when she has to deal with an abusive partner. Or when she is forced to relive her traumatic past – she was sexually assaulted by a close family member.
These scenes were some of the best and most challenging moments on the show, and it took about three weeks of mental preparation for Minne to finally shoot the scenes. “Every time I saw the call sheet while on set, I’d ask the director to push back those scenes because I really needed to find the right energy to be in character for that.”
And no, even though Mariah is in her second role as a slay queen, Minne is not worried about being typecast. “If the viewers think that I’m perfect for this role and there’s an opportunity to capture it on the screen, then I’m not afraid of taking it up. I will push the boundaries for myself, and I know I go hard on such roles, so why not?”
Follow Minne Kariuki on Instagram @minne_cayy to stay up to date with everything Mariah and Single Kiasi.