After stealing Femi One’s glory and making herself look like she was responsible for the popularity of “Utawezana,” Azziad Naisenya became popular enough to land a role in the Kenyan soap opera Selina. Woe unto you who paid lots of school fees to study acting. All you needed to do was shake your waist and put it on TikTok. You could have saved all that money and used it to buy a ploti in Kamulu.
Just before she was cast in Selina, Azziad had appeared as a video vixen for Ringtone (of all people). We just hope she taught him how to spell. Much credit to her though. No one else in Kenya has managed to become so popular, so quickly. I know a couple of artistes who have been trying to be famous for years.
But to be honest, Azziad is a terrible actress. All she does is make funny cartoon-like faces. For a moment, you might think you are watching Nickelodeon. The fluent Swahili seems hella forced too. She keeps saying “Njoo hapa Nelson” with a smile but deep down you know she just wants to say “Nikikupea utawezana?” Where in Kenya do people speak Swahili the way the actors in Selina do by the way? It’s not even coastal Swahili. It’s just classroom Swahili.
To be honest, Selina itself is not a great show. It’s an amalgamation of ninsetorious popeltough hapeltash. But this article is not about Selina. It’s about Azziad. She can do better. I hope she does. Let her watch great actresses like Laura Linney and Julia Garner. Acting isn’t just about looking at people and smiling. It’s about mastering the craft. It’s about bringing out the emotions and going about your business like you aren’t even aware the camera exists.
Azziad acts like she’s about to glance at the camera every single minute. She shouldn’t really be blamed for that. She is used to staring into her phone camera for the purposes of Tik Tok. Brenda Wairimu is a great actress. Azziad is not. She has plenty of time to reach Brenda’s level though. The question is, does she want to?