How it started vs how it's going: Malik Lemmy 'Govi' -

How it started vs how it’s going: Malik Lemmy ‘Govi’

When preparing for a day on set, Malik Lemuel Mbelle understands the importance of taking time for himself. It’s a peaceful moment that he believes “clears his soul.”

“On that particular day, I try not to use my phone excessively. Instead, I prefer to listen to soothing music. I like entering the set with a clear mind and soul. If your mind isn’t clear, people can tell that your performance is merely an act.”

At the age of 23, Malik is an actor with profound insights into his craft. He often emphasizes that a performer’s true ability shines through their eyes because the eyes never deceive.

Having accumulated a wealth of experience, acting has been his lifelong passion and talent.

Fondly reminiscing about his first acting job, Malik recalls, “I’m still unsure whether this is my 17th or 18th year in the industry since I believe I joined Makutano Junction in 2005. However, my mother insists it was 2006. I was either five or six years old.”

Makutano Junction, a television series that premiered in 2006, provided young Malik with the opportunity to act alongside renowned personalities like Raymond Ofula, Regina Rè, Charles Ouda, and many others.

“One morning, my mother took me to Limuru, a place called Green Acres, where Makutano Junction was being filmed. I met prominent actors like Ojiambo Ainea and Raymond Ofula. I had watched these individuals on TV, and I believed they were legends in our industry,” Malik shares.

For a few episodes, he portrayed the role of a street child, impressing the director who predicted that he would become a star one day. Even at such a tender age, Malik’s eloquence and confidence warmed the hearts of his fellow castmates and directors.

Growing up in a family of actors, with his mother being an actor, director, and producer, Malik had all the guidance he needed to forge a successful career in television and film. His mother and sister taught him the ropes and instilled a deep love for the industry.

Malik opens up about how his involvement with Machachari came about. Portraying the character Govi, a composed and problem-solving child, enabled Malik to establish his brand and become a household name.

During his primary school years, he had to adapt to newfound fame.

“Tyler Mbaya and I met on the set of Makutano Junction. My mother was already part of Mother In Law. Once the other young actors were cast, we began shooting the pilots, and the show was pitched to Citizen TV. That’s how Machachari was born.”

The show finally premiered in 2010 on the station.

“When the show started, I was in Class 4. Gradually, the teachers began recognizing me as the actor they had seen on screen,” Malik recounts.

He continues, “After some time, I couldn’t hide it anymore, and people recognized me at school and everywhere I went.”

Machachari proved to be an immensely successful project for Malik and his colleagues, garnering a loyal fanbase nationwide. The show earned them awards, magazine covers, and other lucrative opportunities that propelled them to the top of their game.

“I had just changed schools during that time,” Malik states.

“I quickly realized that I was already famous. We were widely known, especially after a successful year with wins at Chaguo La Teeniez and features in magazines like Insyder, which were highly regarded at the time, especially in schools.”

Malik further adds, “When I was new to the school, students would shout my onscreen name, ‘Govi! Govi!’ It was an entirely new experience. The school was bigger, with students from diverse backgrounds. The teachers had to work hard to calm down the students initially.”

However, as his fame grew, he remained grounded.

He credits his upbringing in a family that instilled humility, faith, and love for Christ as the reason fame did not change him.

The actor’s faith holds significant importance in his life, and he frequently emphasizes the role of religion and having God in one’s life.

While the fame did not alter his personality, Malik acknowledges that it brought a certain degree of unease.

“Fame brings anxiety and pressure to always present your best self, to alter your mannerisms and appearance because all eyes are on you. However, I never changed my outlook on life. I earned some money, but I stayed humble.”

Reflecting on the success of Machachari, Malik reveals that numerous opportunities emerged after the series. From commercials to informercials to film roles, he explored diverse avenues.

“In 2008, we participated in Kid’s Festival, one of the biggest events ever hosted by Churchill with a capacity of 40,000 attendees. I also took part in a Blueband campaign that achieved significant numbers.”

In 2011, Malik served as a brand ambassador for Dettol, and years later, he featured on the promotional billboard for the opening of Two Rivers Mall alongside other stars.

“I left Machachari in 2019. I took a break and allowed myself some rest, but in retrospect, one should think carefully before quitting without a solid plan for what comes next,” Malik advises.

“Anxiety and depression can take a toll, and one might feel low.”

Malik enrolled in university in September 2020, pursuing a degree in International Relations.

After his break, he dove back into acting by joining the cast of a show called Kina in October of that year.

“After Kina, doors started opening. I landed a role in a show called Kutu, which won the Kalasha Awards in 2021. In many of these projects, I played the lead role. I also participated in Mawimbi in 2022, which hasn’t premiered in Kenya yet but had its premiere in Zanzibar last week. It received acclaim at the Zanzibar Film Festival. Following that, I worked on Pepeta.”

In the Showmax series Pepeta, Malik portrays the character Dimore alongside actors Lwanda Jawar, Brahim Ouma, and others.

Pepeta, based on a real-life story, follows the journey of Junior, a 17-year-old talented footballer torn between the allure of crime and the promises of soccer, according to IMDB’s description of the series.

Malik’s adventurous nature shines through in his love for strenuous ocean swims and mountain hikes. Soccer has always been one of his passions since childhood, and he continues to play it to this day.

“While shooting Mawimbi in Malindi, I received a call from a casting director named Kevin Ogolla. He said, ‘Bro, there’s a series coming up, and I want you to audition for this particular character.’ He had been following me for a while, aware of my soccer skills and character,” Malik shares about the casting process.

He recorded an audition tape while in Malindi and, after submitting clips showcasing his prowess on the football field, secured the role.

“The journey began, and I worked on the project for 75 days. By the time I finished, I realized how amazing God is. I believe Pepeta is one of the greatest achievements to come out of Kenya.”

Despite his history in acting, Malik believes he is just getting started. He runs his own production company, Cheko Saba Productions, focusing on content creation and promising his fans something new on YouTube. He is also eager to take on more challenging roles and