by Helvine Achieng
March 4, 2021
The Kenyan film industry is consistently growing, with young actors repeatedly proving that they have what it takes in the film industry. Young actors like Foi Wambui are taking their rightful place in an industry that, for a long time, has been accused of not accommodating enough to new faces and young talents, and with these changes, Wambui admits that the tide is turning.
"There is a lot of great talent, and now more than ever, there are more opportunities for both young, emerging actors and those who've been in the industry for long. The industry is welcoming, but only the disciplined young actors will survive and thrive," she says.
At the young age of 23, the usually vibrant actress carries the world's weight and an uncertain justice system on her shoulders as she fights for her freedom in "Primal", the second episode of Crime and Justice.
The Showmax Original has already showcased new faces and emerging young talents like Koome Kinoti, Brian Abajah, Serah Wanjiku, Muhugu Theuri, and Kanini Edith, a move in the right direction, according to Crime and Justice casting director Lorella Jowi.
"It's exciting to bring these young actors on board to a project of this magnitude. There are more coming, some who have never even been seen on any mainstream platform," says Lorella. "This is a great opportunity for them to showcase their skills and to grow alongside other great talents who've been in the industry longer. And we need them even beyond Crime and Justice as we look to more content in the future."
Wambuis character Rehema is a 17-year-old who is accused of killing her father by stabbing him eight times, a chilling opener that may as well have been taken out of a true-crime murder story. It's a very intense episode, and one Foi carries with the gravity it deserves. It means a lot to her to be able to tell Rehema's story.
"I feel honoured to be able to stand in this gap and express on-screen what so many have felt. Rehema is a representation of so many women, and I hope that anyone who watches this episode will feel seen and heard and that it heals people."
Foi has played several roles in her young acting career, like the likes of the funny friend and hype woman in Nick Mutuma's coming-of-age romcom, Sincerely Daisy, a role that earned her a Kalasha win for Best Supporting Actress. She's also starred in the Kalasha-winning short Morning After and Uhuru, another short which she also produced. Currently, she stars in Maisha Magic's comedy Anda Kava, alongside Njugush and Abel Mutua.
To prepare for the role in Crime and Justice, Wambui had to meditate a lot to have a deeper connection with Rehema. "I did a lot of meditation so that I could be more present mentally to feel the emotions. I also drew a lot of motivation from my personal life."