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Kenyan-Hollywood actor, Benjamin A Onyango

How does it feel to be back in Kenya?

Wow! To be honest, it feels good. It always feels great to be back home. This is home!

Sometime back, you mentioned you find it disheartening that you don’t get to see local content airing in the US. Do you think the local film industry is ready to compete on a global scale?

Yes! Yes! Yes! The industry has definitely grown in leaps and bounds. The content that we are now churning is quality stuff. Film-makers are now well equipped and the shooting and scripting is even better, so yes, we can now compete globally.

Word on the street is that you are interested in conducting some workshops with peeps in the entertainment industry. Could you talk to us a bit about them?

Yes, we did conduct the workshops and spoke to young upcoming actors at Michael Joseph Centre and a second at the Technical University in Mombasa. I hope I encouraged young people. I mean, hey! If a guy from Jeri (Jericho) can do it, then so can you!

Talk to us about your new series, The Wives, and in your opinion, do you think polygamy in Africa has validity, if any, in today’s modern age?

The Wives addresses the topic of polygamy and questions its validity, if any, in today’s age. The series is written to both entertain and educate its audience about the ramifications (good or bad) of this ancient African practice.

My opinion on the subject, back then, the first wife would be the one who suggested to the husband to get a second wife or more wives to help, especially if the husband was wealthy and had a large piece of land.

So, co-wives were acquired out of necessity. It was also traditional practice for the husband to have more than one wife. Today, however, most modern women don’t believe in sharing a husband, especially, women with a Christian background. I am of the King Solomon School of thought. I ask why God gave Solomon wisdom even though he had 300 wives and 600 concubines.

Can we expect a season two?

Umm…,I hope so. We haven’t even finished shooting season one yet. We have shot only six episodes and hope to complete the first season in due time.

What was it like working with local acts throughout the series?

The leads were amazing. It was awesome working with them. I must admit I was impressed by the local talent. They were professional and came ready to work. I am pleasantly shocked about the talent in this country.

What does it feel like to finally have the series out after all the work?

It feels amazing and I cannot wait for everyone to watch and get their reactions. I cannot wait to see the reception we get.

What was it like doubling as an actor and director on the series.

I enjoyed every single role I took. I hope guys watch and enjoy the series. It was exciting yet challenging switching hats from actor to director — I learnt a great deal.

Have you watched any local films that have stayed with you?

Two awesome local films, The First Grader and Nairobi Half Life.

Could you talk to us about some of your upcoming projects.

I have already completed shooting God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness. I also have a film slated for May, Beautifully Broken. It is about Rwanda’s Genocide. It will and is my first lead in a big movie (smiles).

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