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I had to learn Maasai dialect for TV role – Foi Wamboi

Celebrated actress Foi Wamboi has recently talked about a brand-new Kenyan TV series titled ‘Shanga,’ where she takes on the lead role of Soilan, a 21-year-old girl from Lemurat.

In an exclusive interview with Nairobi News during the show’s launch, Foi shared insights into her character and the challenges she faced while preparing for this role.

“This is my first show playing a lead actress,” Foi revealed.

“Soi learns stitching and has a shop where she makes clothes and also does beadwork. She is in love with a renowned Maasai Moran named Ledama, with whom she grew up. Generally, Soi is a sweet person who is loving, kind, and selfless,” she added, describing her character.

She said one of the most exciting aspects of her role was learning the Maasai language.

Foi elaborated on this experience: “Being one of the three main characters, coming from a Bantu background and learning a Nilotic language has been incredibly interesting. I felt the need to push myself even more. My tongue adapted quickly to speak the Ma language. When I learned about the lead role, I was both excited and nervous, grappling with imposter syndrome, but the excitement prevailed.”

She added how the role has been transformative for her by pushing her out of her comfort zone.

She expressed gratitude for the fantastic team that supported her throughout this journey, especially those who patiently taught her the language.

“It has been an incredible journey having fantastic people working with us. We have people who were teaching us the language and it was very engaging and the person who was teaching us was very patient with us,” she said.

Reflecting on her character, Foi found some similarities with her real-life persona.

“You will always find similarities, and that’s the beauty of humanity. I am also very giving, much like Soi. I see a young Foi in her,” she shared.

With 130 episodes planned for its first season, ‘Shanga’ promises to be a captivating watch for its fans.

Foi encourages viewers to expect honesty and something different from the show.

“Our fans should expect honesty and something different and I am doing this show in the most honest way that I can.”

The new series will replace the popular show, ‘Salem’ and will air every Monday through Friday on Maisha Magic Plus, available on DStv Channel 163 and GOtv Channel 3 at 8:00 p.m.During the launch, Nzola Miranda, Managing Director, MultiChoice Kenya noted:

“Today marks an exciting milestone for our viewers as we introduce ‘Shanga’, a compelling addition to our local content offerings.

We are committed to promoting local talent and narratives, fostering cultural preservation, and creating employment opportunities for Kenyans.”

“As Kenya’s most loved storyteller, we take pride in curating the country’s largest collection of local shows and remain committed to investing in local content. Local productions preserve cultural identity and promote diversity,” noted Mr Miranda.

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