Ahead of its official launch today, Showmax treated guests to an exclusive screening of the first episode of the new Kenyan Original thriller Igiza.
Held at Nairobi Street Kitchen in Westlands, Nairobi the event was hosted by comedian and Emcee Oga Obinna who is also an extra in the thriller.
Also in attendance were Igiza leads Serah Teshnah Ndanu, Blessing Lung'aho and Kevin Samuel, director and producer Abdi Shuria and other cast, crewmembers, media personalities, and representatives from MultiChoice.
Set against the backdrop of Nairobi’s fashion industry and the infamous wash wash business (money laundering), Igiza is a story of revenge between twin sisters Linda and Nicole, roles portrayed by Ndanu.
Twelve years into serving time, Nicole breaks out of prison and takes the place of her identical twin sister Linda, who framed her. Nicole intends to take back everything she is owed.
But there is only one obstacle, her sister’s seemingly wonderful life is filled with dark secrets that threaten to destroy her.
Speaking to Nation, the mother of one described the three roles as one of the most intense she has ever been cast in her career. Ndanu plays Linda and Nicole and also Nicole plays Linda in several instances as the story builds.
“This is one of the most intense casts that I have ever played. I was worried about how things would pan out because this is the first time we are seeing something like this and portraying two different characters who share many similarities is not that easy. It had to come out real, and switching those roles wasn’t easy. So much work went into it, from the auditions to understanding internalising the script of the three roles it took weeks and a lot of practice. I watched a lot of movies with such a similar cast, did lots of research and practiced just to make sure everything comes out as real as it should. There was so much pressure. I was always dreading those scenes of Linda and Nicole together but I’m so happy that they turned out to be some of the best scenes,” Ndanu explained.
This was Ndanu’s first casting since taking a two-year hiatus from acting. In that period she welcomed her first child with partner Victor Wanyama, a former Harambee Stars captain.
Director Abdi Shuria expressed his appreciation to the cast and to the writers who have worked with him in rigorous workshop sessions to bring to life a story that so many Kenyans will relate to.
Introducing the screening, Denise Mwende, Showmax Content Specialist in East Africa, affirmed that Showmax is more invested than ever in local content, with Igiza being the fourth Showmax Original in Kenya in less than a year, with more to come in 2022.
“It’s been a good year for local content at Showmax, she said. “As a key player in the entertainment industry, we are proudly Africa’s greatest storytellers. The episode you’re about to watch tonight is one of our proudest yet, not just because we’ve had the chance to collaborate with world-class talent on a local stage but we also get to share these stories with the world, where even Kenyans in the UK and other parts of the diaspora have a taste of home.”
Mwende praised Yare Productions for the work they’ve put into the series from beginning to end.
“The journey with Yare Productions has been an exciting one, from pitching, scripting, casting, production and post-production. We jointly agree that this story is worth every single ounce of energy all the teams have put into it.”
The 13 part thriller will be aired every Monday from 5am.