The battle for survival is ruthless, and it can sometimes get bloody in Kina, the new drama series from Maisha Magic Plus, which is now available to binge on Showmax. Following the lives of the wealthy Tandalas and the poor Mwakazis, Kina is the classic story of the upper classes going to great lengths to protect their wealth and make problems go away – including bribery and even murder. But what happens when the downtrodden stand up for themselves and the rich finally face a problem they can’t eliminate?
Here are five reasons why you should start now.
- Sanaipei Tande as the villain Nana Tandala
Singer-songwriter Sanaipei Tande plays the untouchable water magnate Nana Tandala, who owns Kina Waters. Having pulled herself from poverty and escaped a past that may soon catch up with her, Nana is a woman you don’t want to mess with; she will not think twice about getting blood on her hands or playing dirty to protect the empire that she has built.
This is Sanaipei’s first role as a villain, having previously appeared in shows like Varshita, alongside Maqbul and Eve D’Souza, and Lulu Hassan’s Swahili telenovela Aziza.
- Directed by award-winning filmmaker Likarion Wainaina
Kina is directed by award-winning Likarion Wainaina, whose 2018 film Supa Modo – Kenya’s first superhero movie – received international critical acclaim and won over 50 International awards. Also serving as director is Victor Gatonye, whose film Dream Child was nominated for Best Indigenous Language Movie – Swahili at the AMVCAs 2020.
- Nail-biting drama and twists from the very beginning
Kina keeps the drama coming. It doesn’t waste time in capturing our attention and showing us how far it’s willing to go just to keep us on the edge of our seats. In the very first scene, Nana buries Bella Mwakazi (Alyce Wangari, Lusala) alive, and in the next one we watch Nana shoot herself before we jump back to the events that led to this tragic outcome. By the end of the first episode, the stage is set for betrayal, power, greed and even love, as the murder of a hard-working family man brings two different worlds together
- Bryan Kabugi’s show-stealing performance
Bryan Kabugi, popularly known for his role in Citizen TV’s Machachari, delivers an unforgettable performance as Leo, a lazy bum who spends most of his days lying on the couch, drinking cheap liquor and watching TV – until he comes across some incriminating evidence that could bring Nana Tandala down. Instead of going to the police, Leo seizes the opportunity and decides to blackmail Nana and make some easy money. Unfortunately for him, Nana is not the kind of woman you want to back into a corner.
On this role, Kabugi wrote on Instagram: “There is nothing like a Small role or a Big role. Just Short actors and tall actors. For any up coming actor/ actress out there, when you get a chance take it no matter how small it may seem, you never know what it could breed.”
A few actors including Pascal Tokodi (Selina), Kate Actress (Sue na Jonnie, Ma-Empress), and Abel Mutua (Anda Kava) have commended him for his performance, with Kate even hinting at a future collaboration with the actor.
- Sanaipei Tande and Jimmy Gathu’s on-screen chemistry
Some actors just have good chemistry on screen, making it even easier for them to play believable couples, like Sanaipei Tande and Jimmy Gathu (Rafiki, State House), who plays her husband Fred, a man who isn’t afraid of a little PDA, and hypes his skills in the bedroom and in the kitchen for anyone who cares to listen. It’s refreshing to see that a woman who commands so much power and who has a capacity for evil like Nana is capable of such carefree, and sometimes goofy romance.
Binge-watch Kina, streaming now on Showmax.