What you need to know:
- The revenue that can be generated from the film industry can boost employment, and the country’s growth.
- The government needs to give filmmakers loans and grants to help them in the quest for telling stories through films; talk to financial institutions to ensure easier partnerships between them and the filmmakers; and ease transportation inside and outside the country through easier acquisition of passports and visas and so on.
Born Malik Lemuel Mbelle, Malik has been acting since the age of five. His journey started off at Makutano Junction. Malik rose to fame after the Machachari show first aired on Citizen TV. He loves storytelling, and prefers chilling with his friends instead of being everywhere with everyone. Malik describes himself as someone who is quite content with what he has, and says that he is a strong believer in God, as everything he has is because of Him.
1. There's been a lot of conversation about how (unfairly) actors are sometimes treated in the industry here, what do you think is the way forward?
My take is, I wish legislation could favour us and that the government starts understanding that the film industry can be a multi-billion economy - if supported. The film industry is one of the industries that can employ any person, regardless of their qualifications, because we have everyone on set: from doctors, to food vendors, leave alone [just] the cast and crew. The revenue that can be generated from the film industry can boost employment, and the country’s growth. The government needs to give filmmakers loans and grants to help them in the quest for telling stories through films; talk to financial institutions to ensure easier partnerships between them and the filmmakers; and ease transportation inside and outside the country through easier acquisition of passports and visas and so on.
2. What have you done in the past when you find yourself in situations where you are not being treated fairly?
I am more of a solution giver than a complainer. I always make sure I do my best in speaking out against injustice, be it physically or through social media.
3. How did you deal with being so quickly recognised at such an early age? Was it strange for you, being so famous as a child?
I guess when you are a child you don’t realise much. I always enjoyed every moment and blessing my career brought me. I’ve been fortunate enough to do a lot over the years, and I’m still not in my thirties.
4. What do you feel like the transition has been like, from child actor to adult actor? Do people still expect you to be the same child? Do people typecast you for roles?
At first, it wasn’t easy to transition because everyone would judge me based off the show that made me a household name. After getting other roles and delivering [in those roles], people have now started seeing me for what I possess, in terms of acting.
For typecasting, no. Actually, I’ve had roles that have really been different from Govi, who was such a responsible and sharp young boy, to playing a reckless teenager on Kutu, to a young man who can’t see eye to eye with the father who is a fisherman on Mawimbi, to Hope’s boyfriend on “Kina”, to being a slow learner on “Flash Squad”, and a young thug on Pepeta, just to name a few.
5. What project have you been in that you think we should all watch? What are you working on at the moment?
Pepeta, which is streaming on Showmax. Mawimbi will be premiering in Kenya soon. Unfortunately, many fans don’t come for premieres. I wish this was made [more] possible by stakeholders and producers. Let fans come to the cinema to enjoy what is our own, because most of us act in these feature films and short films that don’t air on TV; most audiences end up not watching these beautiful films.