Wanjeri’s bold, daring character pushed her to become an award-winning actress
NICE WANJERI’s bold and daring character pushed her to become an award-winning actress as her brother, a gospel singer, ANTHONY NJOROGE aka Addeh Prince reveals.
Harriet James @harriet86jim
Since their childhood, Anthony Njoroge always looked up to his big sister, renowned actress Nice Wanjeri for encouragement and direction.
Popularly known for her former role as Shiro in a local TV programme Aunty Boss, her brother, a young gospel artiste, recalls Nice being the bold and daring one who thrived and shone in public eyes, while he was holed up in shyness always running away from the public attention.
His mousy nature was so bad that when he ventured on the road to becoming a musician, the entire family was in shock, unable to reconsile his timid nature and the demands of the musical path he chose to venture into.
“In Sunday School, we would practise songs and dances, which would be performed on Sunday, but come the D-day, I would disappear,” he recalls.
Nice and her brother Anthony come from a family of three siblings and grew up in a humble background in Lari, Kiambu county. This taught them the value of sticking close to each other.
Things became even worse when they lost their father in 2002 when Nice was 11 years. She had to assist her mum in selling charcoal and hawking tomatoes and shoes to make ends meet.
In secondary school, she was the drama and music chairperson and won a lot of trophies. But her acting was sharpened at the Kenya National Theatre where for three years she acted in various roles for set books.
It was not all rosy because at times she would be turned away and deemed ugly for a role. The pay was also not good.
Nice landed her first TV role in 2013 in a KBC programme called Merimela’s House, before later on in 2014 auditioning for a role in Aunty Boss.
She acted as an inexperienced housemaid always doing the opposite of what her boss demanded of her, a role which polished her acting skills and turned her into a household name.
“The role changed her whole life from being a nobody in the acting world, to a star. She really researched to fit into the role and owned the character Shiro.
She made that character come alive and I remember always tuning in to watch my sister perform.
I was excited watching her on TV. She is always thankful of Lucy Mwangi and Eve Dsouza for that opportunity,” says Anthony.
However, in 2016, their mother died leaving them orphans. Nice, being the oldest had to step in and wear their parents’ shoe.
But even as she struggled to take care of his younger brothers, Nice still continued with her pursuit of acting.
But after three years, 15 seasons, with nearly 200 episodes, in 2018, she quit her role in Auntie Boss due to contractual differences and on the same year, she won the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA), her first international award as the best actress in comedy and TV series.
“A fellow actress Catherine Kamau-Karanja informed her about it. She followed up and confirmed.
Nice then spread the word to her fans for them to vote for her, as her nomination category was determined by votes.
As a family, we supported her by spreading the news on social media and through the word of mouth to her fans and of course by voting. This saw her bring the award home,” he says.
The win saw her get more offers from corporates and other productions. “I’m proud of her because I have seen her grow from acting in drama clubs in school and church to acting on a national TV.
I am her number one fan. While it feels good to be famous and all, having a support system means everything. We are close, so we support each other emotionally, spiritually and also mentally,” shares Anthony
Life during pandemic
For now, Covid-19, just like it has affected social, economic and almost all areas of life, has not spared her. However, she is creating online content for her fans and building her brand at the moment.
Nice is also a mother of one and being a public figure sometimes demands a lot of time out, especially when working on big projects.
However, having a daughter grounds her and she ensures that she compensates for the time lost.
“Motherhood is beautiful and she always tells us that it has taught her to put her daughter first. My niece turned nine this month,” he says.
Her daughter too loves the camera and always expresses her wishes to one day sing and act just like her mother.
However, Nice says she would let her chart her own path and will support her in the process.
The former Auntie Boss actress is currently dating after breaking up with her baby daddy in 2018.
However, neither Anthony nor Nice wanted to reveal details of her new relationship.