One of the most popular Kenyan TV shows for some time now is KTN’s The Real Househelps of Kawangware and one of the most prominent actors right now is the girl with the Meru accent, Nkirote. Her real name is Leah Nkatha Mati and we had this chat on life on set, how she got there and the Meru art scene.
When did you start acting?
Mmmh I used to act in church when I was in Sunday school but then I somehow never tried acting in school. I later joined Meru Arts Program where I acted sometimes and then I found myself on TV.
Wait a minute… there’s something called Meru Arts Program?
Yes. It was quite an active group. We used to act in schools, churches, public events and others, though right now it’s not as active
There are a couple of Meru characters on The Real Househelps of Kawangware, how is that? Ni kuitana, ama sisi ni wale wakali?
Sisi ni wakali👌🏽😊… It just happens that kwa auditions the character they are looking for falls on a Merian… I think we have a very unique lifestyle. We are not many though and its not about tribes ni individuals.
Of THRK, is Crotus in love with you, or are you in love with him?
😂😂😂 Crotus Crotus…I don’t know if I can call it love but I enjoy getting the attention, and the gifts I am now receiving. As you can see, my life is changing. So yes, I love the life Crotus is giving me.
But you have had a couple of sweethearts in Kawangware, Nkirote.
Not that many. NI wao unitaka, all of them. The only man I loved was Michi when I was a mshamba but now he can’t fit in my class😂😂
We hear there are some Meru artistes and actors forming an art group in Meru. Are you part of that?
Apart from the Meru Arts Program, I am not aware of any Menu arts association. If there’s one, it’s a very good step to grow the art scene in Meru.
Speaking of association, have you or are you mentoring any Meru actor?
I wouldn’t say I am honestly… Am very green in the industry am still learning. Ata sijamaliza mwaka🙈
But when I make it, I definitely will.
Who mentored you?
I didn’t even know It was still in me until I moved in with a friend (Christine Nkirote) with whom we started making funny clips and uploading on the social media.
I have people I look up to though, my main being Gabriel Union and then the people I work with from the director to my fellow actors have helped me bring it out.
What are the qualities of a good TV actor
This is a hard one, because I don’t think I am halfway there and that’s what I am working on. The base line is talent. Aki hii cjui how to answer for now. 🙈
With the rise of Meru TV channels and tens other stations, would you consider doing a Meru show?
Yeah if I got the chance I would. It would bring me home in terms of interactions, and contribute to the diversity of Meru talent growth.
What keeps you grounded?
First my believe in God then I have the most amazing family that no matter what happens they are there for me. Then my best friends.. And of late my fans.
We wish Leah Nkatha Mati (Nkirote) all the best in her young career. Put Meru on the map!