Mama Nyaguthie; Luo Advocate Who Perfected TV Role of Old Kikuyu Landlady At Papa Shirandula

Those who interact with Mary Adhiambo Airo at close range know her as a legal practitioner, but the rest of the country know her as Mama Nyaguthie of Papa Shirandula.

That is because Airo took on the role of a Kikuyu landlady who is tough on her tenants and internalised it perfectly.

Thanks to makeup, her exemplary prowess at role-playing, and the signature floral dress accentuated by broken swahili, Airo made many believe she is elderly and from Central Kenya.

Mama Nyaguthie

Her big break into TV came in July 2007 when she was doing her legal clinics in Langata women’s Prison and the late Charles Bukeko aka Papa Shirandula called her to join a new show he was planning to start.

“I had worked with him before on stage theatre so he knew of my potential. I managed to hook up with him, looked at the script and liked it. That’s how I ended in the show,” she said.

One interesting revelation she made was that her first role was Wilbroda before the producer changed it to Mama Nyaguthii.

The reason, she says, is that she has a small body and is short, so the producer felt there was no proper balance between her and Papa, hence she was given a different character.

Asked how she managed to pull the weird walking style on the show, Airo revealed that she internalised her character well, as the character bio also made her know her role.

“Secondly, the character I play depicts a person I know back in childhood so playing it was really easy,” she disclosed.

She added that her role on stage never clashes with her real-life because there’s a clear cut between the two.

According to her, she de-roles to Mama Nyaguthii only when in her costumes and becomes Mary Airo the moment she takes them off.

“The two have never mixed, you should find me in my office, you will not even know me as Mama Nyaguthii,” she said jokingly.

Airo, however, refused to comment on her marital as well as motherhood status, adding that she does not like putting her personal life in public.

Source: Tuko

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