The pretty little powerhouse began her acting career post-high school when she joined theatre groups based at Alliance Française. Soon, she became the darling of the Heartstrings ensemble and later on joined the TV show Beba Beba, playing the popular no-nonsense tomboy “Tasha”.
The fact that people treat Nancy like “Tasha” as she walks down the streets of Nairobi is testament to how believable the character appears to be. People even go as far as giving the petite-framed actress a punch on the shoulder because “Tasha” would be perfectly fine with such a greeting.
Does this seem a bit brash for the actress? “When people do that, I understand that they just appreciate my work,” Nancy clarifies. But it is her recent role as “Baby” in the second installment of Shuga: Love. Sex, Money, the MTV Networks Africa TV series, that is garnering her lots of attention. It’s attention she shrugs off unaffectedly. “Shuga hasn’t changed me because niko job tu (I’m just working, that’s all),” she stresses, “and my role hasn’t made me more important than anyone else.”
Originally, the role came as a surprise to fans and friends alike, since it seemed Nancy had become typecast as the wisecracking, loud-mouthed “ghetto girl”. Nonetheless, she boldly decided to audition for a coveted place within the cast of Shuga. This is because, to Nancy, each role she takes on is more than playing pretend. “I tell stories and represent all the people who relate to that character,” she says.
Her role as “Baby” was no different, as she breezed through scenes of innocence as a schoolgirl in search of her father. Nancy says that the she drew inspiration for the character from her love for children--and her passion to see them protected from situations such as rape, which “Baby” endured from an older relative.
Off camera, Nancy is the epitome of humility and keeps all theatrics confined to the stage. In a way she’s “every woman”, the average “Wanjiku” that cartoonist Gado would sketch in his caricatures, or an actress with the ability to get so into character, it could fool the most discerning of audiences. Maybe it’s Nancy’s personality that jumps out of her diminutive frame to show the world what she is really made of. Maybe it’s just a fire inside that people often under estimate.
In any case, Nancy has her heart focused on the things she loves. “I’m in college studying Community Development and NGO Management, so that I can one day open up an orphanage. As for my future plans in acting, I’ll always be optimistic about any opportunities that may come my way.”
Catch Nancy’s hilarious expressions in the 3 Punches section of UP Magazine’s May 2012 issue.
|< Prev||Next >|
By Dorothy Kang’ethe