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EXCLUSIVE: How personal life experiences inspired Rashid Abdalla’s latest soap ‘Zari

By Elizabeth Ngigi September 19th, 2023 2 min read

Rashid Abdalla, the Director at Jiffy Pictures, is a true maestro in the world of filmmaking.

With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of storytelling, the media personality has played a pivotal role in bringing the company’s creative visions to life.

He recently tapped renowned actresses Sarah Hassan and Brenda Wairimu in the brand-new telenovela, “Zari,” which is set to air on Maisha Magic Plus.

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“Zari” unfolds a modern-day Cinderella story, delving into the life of a woman whose rightful family and fortunes are unjustly snatched away, leading her on a path filled with challenges and revelations.

During the grand launch of the telenovela on September 18, 2023, Abdalla, who doubles up as the Chief Executive at Jiffy Pictures, shared insights into the production and the thematic elements that underpin “Zari.”

He told Nairobi News the story is intricately woven with contemporary issues that resonate with our current times.

“Zari is an interesting story that touches on themes of wealth, greed, and power,” he explained.

“These two beautiful faces, Sarah Hassan and Brenda Wairimu, portray characters who are not biological sisters but are like sisters. This mirrors the dynamics we often encounter in our society, where we admire our neighbors’ possessions and sometimes resort to envy, learning, and ultimately achieving similar success through our own means. However, the story serves as a cautionary tale, warning that shortcuts to success come at a price,” he said.

Abdalla then shared a personal anecdote, emphasizing the relevance of the story to his own life journey.

“This story is about me,” he confessed.

“I aspired to become a news anchor, and the person who inspired me was the individual who used to guide passengers embarking and disembarking at the Kenya Ferry. Whenever I crossed the Kenya Ferry, I marveled at why people didn’t pay more attention to his directions. I said to myself that when I have a platform to tell others’ stories, I will take it. I joined radio, hosted a show where I invited people to share their stories, and now, Sarah and Brenda in ‘Zari’ are bringing our stories to life on the screen.”

Rashid emphasized the central theme of jealousy in the telenovela, highlighting its role in the plot.

“Jealousy is a natural human emotion, but when it crosses the line and becomes excessive, it can manifest as something more sinister. ‘Zari’ revolves around a young woman working in an affluent household. When the daughter of the household has an affair that displeases her father, he takes a drastic step by entrusting the child’s care to the servant of the house. The question remains, how long can the servant keep this life-altering secret?”

Rashid promised the viewers that “Zari” is a compelling journey filled with intrigue, drama, and powerful storytelling, all brought to life by the exceptional Kenyan great talents.