SNAPPY 7: Eve D’Souza – Children think ‘Varshita’ cast are human cartoons – VIDEO
Prolific Kenyan showbiz personality Eve D’Souza is currently riding high with her new show Varshita which airs on Maisha Magic East.
The show is a spin-off from NTV’s Auntie Boss in which she also stars and produces.
The sassy but shy former radio personality has had her success story told over and over. She spoke to Nairobi News about her love for entertainment and her extroverted personality.
1. How proud are you to be the first person in Kenya to have a spin-off show? – It hasn’t really sunk in yet. I think it’s because we are so stressed on set. When Auntie Boss premiered on NTV, everyone was like, “How proud are you (Lucy Mwangi – my business partner – and I)? You have such an amazing sitcom!”
But we were too busy, stressed, to even think about it. Then Varshita came and everyone is asking the same thing again. I am too tired to think about it. It hasn’t really sunk in yet. That is because every person involved has put so much in to it.
2. In your words what is the difference between the two shows? – The stars of Auntie Boss are primarily the house helps. The whole idea for the show came out of a hilarious conversation between Lucy and I. We were swapping the funniest stories about our experiences with house helps and after talking straight for two hours she said this would make a great TV show. The spinoff, comes from what happens on Auntie Boss.
You will find out the way Varshita was brought in. She is a very strong character in terms of being over dramatic. She is a loud and horrible person. Even in our workshops with our writers, they try and suppress the stories because the character of Don and Varshita kept coming out too strongly.
So Lucy kept saying that we needed a separate story for the two characters. When we met with Mnet, they just loved the idea. We haven’t done a good interracial couple on Kenyan TV.
They said that, honestly, there is a lot of racism between Indians and Africans, especially when it comes to dating and marriage. So it primarily focuses on Varshita’s and Donovan’s relationship. You come to understand why she is so dysfunctional when you meet her parents and Don’s parents as well.
3. How has the show been received? – It’s been amazing, but personally I’m a bit troubled by this. Our biggest fan base, and I mean it, is children. I will meet people who will say that their son would love to marry a Varshita when he grows up and girls want to be like Varshita. To them we are like human cartoons.
4. Would you ever consider turning both shows into a movie? – When Varshita was going to come out, I always said in the back of my head that I hate spin-offs. Every spin-off that I have ever watched was so lame and so boring. So I was very nervous and I said that I cannot let it flop. It is the same thing I say about movies. I hate movies based on TV shows. If we do it, we will do it in a Bollywood style.
5. Any comparison with Varshita in your life? – Why I love playing Varshita is because I am so the opposite of her. It is like therapy. I can finally tell people off and stand up for myself. I’m such a people pleaser. I dislike confrontation, and arguments upset me.
It really affects me because I’m so emotional. When someone comes and tells a sob story, I feel pity for them, but playing Varshita I can tell them what is on my mind. I love that she is loud, dramatic, without any filter and does what she wants. I never do that.
6. In what ways can you say you have grown as an actor? – I have such a respect for people in the film that I never had before. Radio was my first love and it will always be very, very close to my heart because it is so easy compared to doing TV. You could come in your pyjamas and nobody will know, or you could be upset and in a bad mood and no one sees you.
But on TV whatever problems you have, stress you are going through – it doesn’t matter if you were dumped the night before – you have to leave it at the door and bring your ‘A’ game because it will show. Even when I watch my shows I can tell when I was tired. I never knew anything about acting and production before.
I have grown in terms of what I have learned from the people that I work with. I get the most lessons from them and it has been such a humbling experience. On set there is no difference between cast and crew as far as I’m concerned.
7. What advice would you give a 21-year-old Eve? – You have no idea what you are doing. Honestly, when I think back, at 21 is when I joined Capital FM. I think it is difficult because everyone’s story is different. Some people know what they want to do at a young age and some people don’t.
I wanted to be either a teacher, a vet or a singer. I couldn’t sing and the vet thing freaked me out because I didn’t know that you had to treat cows and snakes too. I thought it would only be puppies.
I was all over the place until the lectures sat me down and told me that I could be good for media, then something went off. Until that point I didn’t know.
It is very important to listen to the people around you. Sometimes you have a dream and you think you might be great at this. No offence, but I have seen in radio and TV people say ‘I was meant to be on radio or TV’ and yet you are not good. It is good to humble yourself at that age and listen to other people.