Crowned King of Actors abroad, but still unsung at home
Veteran actor, Kenneth Ambani was feted at the African Prestigious Awards (APA) over the weekend in Ghana but it is overwhelmingly surprising how his accolade has been taken so casually in the country.
The actor is popularly known as Baraza owing to a role he played in Tausi on KBC channel.
Ambani was elated to receive an Honorary Award for the Best Male Actor at the AH Hotel & Conference in Accra last Saturday.
This begs the question, are we doing enough as a country in celebrating our heroes and heroines in the film industry as compared to other avenues; say sports for instance?
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“It is disheartening when we carry the flag of our country with pride out there only to find such a cold reception at home. It is becoming a norm for us to be celebrated by our family members and a few friends only,” said Ambani.
Unlike Kenya, Tanzania gave a good send off to four of her actors and actresses who were travelling to Ghana following their nomination for various awards. Award winning actress, Yvonne Cherrie AKA Monalisa, was crowned the Best Female Actress and the reception from her country on their way back was equally impressive.
Other countries especially in West Africa give overwhelming support to the local film industry in terms of production and consumption. They are also keen on honouring their filmmakers and this has seen the industry flourish as a money minting venture for the economy.
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Ambani who also received an Excellence in Leadership Award on behalf of President Kenyatta, said preparations are underway to have him officially hand over the award to the president. Other Kenyans who were awarded include Reverend Lucy Natasha, Julie Gichuru and Chris Kirubi.
Ambani whose acting career spans almost three decades has starred in many local TV Series including Tushauriane, Sumu, Wingu la Moto, Mchungaji among others. He also played a role in South Africa’s TV series Jacob’s Cross and Wanuri Kahiu’s film, From a Whisper