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Blessing Lung’aho: I am now ready for a comedy role

For many of his acts on TV, Blessing Lung’aho has played the hunk in local drama series. But now he says his new character Dom in the drama series Igiza has presented him with a new challenge as he plays a vengeance-seeking son of an inmate mother.

Dom has a lot more at stake in this revenge mission than he lets on. His mother Salome (played by actor Sheila Ndanu), is serving a life sentence, and is Nicole’s (Serah Ndanu) ally in prison. Dom himself is a “prison baby”.

Launched in May, Igiza follows Serah Ndanu who plays a double role of twin sisters as Linda and Nicole, who are caught in an unending bitter sibling rivalry. Dom stands on one side of this  feud as Nicole’s accomplice, the man on the outside who helps her set her plans in motion.

“His mother was wrongly imprisoned. And because of that, she had to give birth to Dom in prison. He (Dom) has lived his entire life trying to vindicate his mum. So we start the story when he has finally come up with a plan that might actually work,” Lung’aho says of his role in the series that streams on Showmax.

“The most interesting thing about playing Dom is that he’s a very motivated individual. You know how all of us just want to make our mothers proud. That’s it for him. It’s exciting playing someone that is driven. He is the only guy whose integrity is firm. If Dom tells you to do something, you’ll do it.”

Dom’s plan to vindicate his mother starts with Nicole escaping from prison and taking over Linda’s seemingly perfect life, with Dom as her connection to the outside world. Both will stop at nothing to take back what they’re owed.

Lung’aho says he enjoys the thrill of it, the unbridled pursuit of revenge, and the new dangerous territory that Igiza leads his character Dom to as the show ventures deeper and deeper into the criminal underworld that is Nairobi’s money-laundering business.

“The stakes are very different between playing Alejandro in a telenovela and being Dom. In a telenovela, the worst thing that can happen to my character is that he won’t find the girl in the end. So the audience experiences this world through my emotions and through the romance that is supposed to happen, the will-they-won’t-they. In Igiza, the stakes are very high because, at any point (spoiler alert), anyone can die. So every second counts, unlike in a telenovela where the story can be stretched,” he said.

One of his preparations for the role as Dom was to gain weight to fit into what the director, Abdi Shuria, had in mind. He recalls one of his conversations with the director of the show when discussing his character.

“It’s something I do with all my roles. He (Abdi) explained to me: ‘Dom is a brawler. He’s the kind of guy you don’t mess with in a bar. He’s quiet and likes to be by himself. But, you know, if I mess with that guy, I’ll get a beat up.’ So I asked him, like a muscular guy? He was like, no. He pointed out someone to me with rough hair and a big build and said, ‘I know that guy doesn’t go to the gym, but I can’t mess with them,” Lung’aho said.

“I was a bit skinny and toned at the time because of being Alejandro but the moment I wrapped that role, I have been eating nothing but chips, breakfast, lunch, supper.”

Lung’aho, who before landing his role in Igiza had just wrapped playing Sarah Hassan’s wealthy heartthrob in Citizen TV’s telenovela Zora, says he is now ready for a comedy role.

“For years I’ve been trying to convince people that I’m very funny. I would love to showcase this funny side on screen because you’ve all seen variations of my dramatic acting. Now if I get a comedy role, I’ll get to show you guys how much range I have,” he said.