Nairobi News


Listicle: 7 Kenyan celebs who quit top rated shows at the height of their fame

The Kenyan film industry has been churning out engaging movies and series for both its local and international audiences.

Gone are the days when cast members were strictly Kenyans and production appeared below par.

Today, there are several award-winning films on the international stage but on the flip side, leading cast members in some of these films have been making use of the exit door for the past few years.

Nairobi News lists a number of top actors and actresses who walked away from films and telenovelas at the height of the shows’ popularity and the reasons some of them gave for their unexpected exits:

  1. Mumbi Maina- In August 2022, Mumbi Maina quit her lead actress role on the telenovela, Salem. She did not openly state the reason why she left the show.
  2. Ilya Frank- She replaced Mumbi Maina on the telenovela days later and years later, announced her exit from the show on March 28, 2023. She revealed that there were larger issues at play, mentioning that production companies needed to take care of the cast and crew so that they could deliver better work quality. She also hinted at a lack of transparency and consideration for artists; and a culture of fear on production sets that make people compromise their wellbeing for the sake of their careers.
  3. Melivin Alusa- On April 5, 2023, Melvin Alusa announced his exit from the Salem Show where he was the lead male actor. He claimed that there was a toxic working environment behind the scenes which was unacceptable to him. “I unfortunately couldn’t bear the toxic work environment anymore. The bad leadership, emotional blackmail, gas-lighting, manipulation and health hazards, led to an environment that became impossible for me to perform my role as an actor, and to deliver powerful moments to the role and story as a whole. It’s at this point that I felt the need to leave with my dignity intact and my head held high,” said Melvin in part upon his exit.
  4. Mkamzee Mwatela- She was the original lead actress on Kina before she announced her exit. She claimed that behind the scenes, a lot of mistreatment and underhand dealings happened and the cast were not paid on time.
  5. Sanaipei Tande- In February 2023, the musician and actress announced that she was leaving her lead role on the telenovela, Kina, where she acted for four seasons. Sanaipei was Mkamzee Mwatela’s replacement. She claimed to have become tired and simply wanted a break from acting.
  6. Nice Wanjeri – In September 2018, the comedic actress quit the popular Anunty Boss sitcom show. She later revealed in an interview that there had been contractual difference with the production company. “I have a lot of love and respect for the show, producers, cast and crew. If an opportunity to reopen negotiations presents itself, I am more than willing to sit down and talk,” said Wanjeri in October 2018.
  7. Timothy Kimani alias Njugush- The top Kenyan comedian quit the Real Housewives of Kawangware show in May 2016 at the height of its popularity. He later revealed that he left the show after a disagreement with the producers over the low pay he was getting despite contributing to making the show a household name.
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