My sister found her happy place in acting

Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 00:00 |
Aisha Mwajumla and her elder sister Mariam Mwajumla. Photo/PD/JASMINE ATIENO

After losing her parents at a young age, actress Aisha Mwajumla was determined to work hard and remain focused so as to stand on her feet, as her elder sister Mariam Mwajumla reveals.

Jasmine Atieno @sparkleMine

Many people will recognise Aisha Mwajumla from Maisha Magic East TV series, Pete, in which she plays the role of Nimimi, Mbura’s wife.

Aisha also featured in the movie Watatu, but Pete was her major breakthrough in her career. 

But as her sister Mariam Mwajumla shares, Aisha’s journey to stardom has been one filled with battles she has had to overcome every day. 

Aisha is the last born of three, born and raised partially in Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale region to the late Hamis Mwajumla and his late wife Fathma Soud Mandano.

When their father died, she was only six years old and that was the beginning of her challenges.

First challenge involved moving from Mombasa a place she had known as home, to Kilifi. Then five years later, their mother also passed away, leaving them orphaned. 

“From nursery through to lower primary school, Aisha went to Mombasa Consolata Catholic school.

Then our dad died. A few years later, we moved to Mtwapa, where she did mid-primary at Mtwapa primary and Imam Shafi, both in Kilifi county.

Then we lost our mum and she was transferred back to Mombasa until Class Seven, after which our maternal grandmother took her in as she did her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE),” shares Mariam, the second born of the family. 

Fire that never stopped burning

Even as a child it was easy to see the fire that was slowly gaining life. Aisha was a born actress.

Mariam remembers Aisha coming back from kindergarten everyday and entertaining the family with her performances. 

“After she started kindergarten, she would entertain the family every day. Whether it was Twinkle Twinkle Little stars or anything else,” she says. 

After their mother and father passed on, the parenting roles were left to their closest relatives.

While their aunt took in Mariam and their elder brother Ali Mwasema, Aisha became her maternal grandmother’s responsibility who saw her through school.

Later when the brother became stable economically, he took over the raising of Aisha. 

Her acting career was officially born when she started performing plays in primary school. She first performed in a skit when the assigned actor was not able to do justice to the role.

So she asked the teacher to allow her show how she thought it should be done. That’s how the role became hers.

And since then, there was no turning back. Her breakthrough came in 2015 when she featured in award-winning film, Watatu. 

“In school, she would get lead roles and this went on through to college, it has never stopped.

So she was attracted to the arts at a young age and it is something she has just grown with,” she says.

Born a fighter

To her sister, Aisha is one hell of a fighter. “For Aisha, life has been filled with ups and downs.

I mean, growing up without parents, standing on her own feet, becoming a responsible adult and living her dream.

She is always focused. Life toughened her up. Through it all, she has managed to assert her place in the acting industry.

As for me, looking at her now that she can support herself, standing on her two feet, I feel proud.

And the urge to be a better person pushes her every day,” says her elder sister.

Additionally, losing parents made Aisha strong. Being the last born, it made her realise that she had to work harder and be disciplined.

She knew being her own person would mean focus. And as her sister intimates, these have become her greatest traits —resilience and focus. 

Though Mariam is the elder sister, she admires Aisha and is her number one fan. 

“When she is not acting, Aisha loves her ‘me time’. She loves showmax and Netflix. Also, she loves spending time with her nieces and nephews.

They talk like adults and have conversations and discussions.  I would say when she took up acting as a profession, she found her happy place. She is so at peace.

Seeing that and the fulfillment she gets from acting gives me fulfillment as well,” says Mariam. 

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