The Kenyan film industry has had a crop of local movies and telenovelas, viewers having their choice on which they find entertainment fulfillment and otherwise.
Almost every local TV station airs local series, the bigwigs winning over their juniors owing to the kind of content they allow to occupy their space(s).
You may have speculated the ‘mouth-watering’ sums that Brian Ogana (Luwi) pockets thanks to his ritzy designer outfits. Equally, you may have wondered what the heck this naive girl, Awinja, takes home after playing her role in Papa Shirandula.
Generally, actors pay in Kenya is way too low compared to their counterparts in, let’s say, Nigeria, or even South Africa. For instance, a Nigerian cast member can take home close to kes 500,000 that is in one film, that summing up several episodes for a Kenyan actor/actress.
The local series grow day by day but ironically the proceeds off them have ‘chosen’ to stagnate, players acting for fun presumably, money becoming a second thought.
TV show Actors
A-list actors, in the class of Papa Shirandula, pocket kes 25,000 per episode. Newbies playing leading roles in TV shows take home about kes 10,000.
Depending on the TV show, supporting actors are paid between kes10,000 and kes 15,000. Actors without lines get paid Kes 7,000 and those with lines earn kes 10,000. Extras who don’t have lines will earn kes 2,000 and, if lucky, they will pocket kes 5,000.
Kenya is not known for its film industry. This has been attributed to the expenses involved in producing films and lack of government interest in growing the multi-billion industry. And how much do actors earn in the few locally produced movies?
Leading A-list movie actors’ pocket kes100,000. The supporting cast takes home kes 70,000 per movie. Peripheral actors with lines earn kes 15,000 while those without are paid kes 2,000.
Those accomplished have had side gigs that complemented their acting. Charles Bukeko -better known as Papa Shirandula for long worked with Multichoice, being the GOTV’s brand ambassador. Davis Mwabili alias Inspekta Mwala also had gigs with Airtel Kenya, doubling up as radio host, thus his close-to-lavish lifestyle.