Mary Khavere, better known to her fans as Mama Kayai from the iconic Kenyan comedy show, Vitimbi, speaks to Caroline Nyanga about her journey in finding her niche in Kenyan comedy, staying grounded, and leaving a legacy for upcoming actors. Mama Kayai rose to fame through her role on the show, where she and the late Benson Wanjau (Mzee Ojwang) brought to life the challenges faced by married couples in a comical way.
The show was a hit among Kenyans and even won several awards for its ability to entertain and educate the masses on social issues. Mama Kayai reveals that her acting career started from her passion for performing as a traditional dancer and singer, and she eventually found her way into acting through auditions.
Despite the fame and recognition that Mama Kayai received, she lived a simple life with her family, with her husband fully supportive of her acting career. Mama Kayai also acknowledges the challenges that young actors face today and advises them to follow in the footsteps of veteran actors, seeking the right advice before venturing into the profession.
She also appeals to the government and local television stations to support the local film industry and veteran actors in order to recapture its lost glory. Mama Kayai believes that her consistency on television and her refusal to jump from one show to another helped establish her as a brand in the industry.