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Kenyans mourn ‘Nairobi Half Life’ veteran actor Olwenya Maina

The Kenya film industry is mourning the demise of renowned actor Olwenya Maina.

Maina, remembered for his roles in the movies Nairobi Half-Life, Poacher, and Taliya, is said to have collapsed and was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

He also had impressive stints in film, television, and radio.

Some of his other performances were on Plot 10, a program aired on KBC TV. He was also part of  Sisimka Productions, where he acted in Wash and Set.

On the show Guy Center, he played Alex Maranga, a producer.

In October 2009, he joined Heartstrings Kenya as part of the creative team for the Churchill Show.

He did two episodes in the show Changes and played Uncle Joe in Shuga 2 and the villainous Kaka in Mali.

Born and raised in Kangemi, Nairobi, the deceased attended Kangemi Primary School and Murang’a High School.

He enjoyed working with children and used to teach theatre in churches and schools, among them PCEA Bahati, St Francis Girls Mangu, and Buru Buru Girls.

He was also a voice-over actor at Radio Jambo and was the voice behind a number of their promos.

In an earlier interview with Nation, Maina said that art, and specifically, acting in Kenya was a well-paying job.

“The problem is that people in Kenya equate acting success with money, which should not be the case. Artists should earn enough to be comfortable, but satisfaction in your work is what counts the most.”

On social media, several high-profile entertainers sent condolence messages to his family, lauding him as a special talent and a game-changer in the Kenyan entertainment industry.