Actress Faith Kibathi, who plays Rebecca on Single Kiasi, has discussed playing the role of a mother and reclaiming her womanhood while on the series.
Faith Kibathi on playing a mother, reclaiming her womanhood on 'Single Kiasi'
Single Kiasi paints a picture of dating life in Nairobi
On the show, the character Rebecca is portrayed as an overburdened mother of two and a cash-strapped housewife who’s loyal to her husband even as his financial situation gets worse by the day. That’s until his mistakes push her into the arms of a man she cannot resist.
“She (Rebecca) was married at a young age. They’ve been together for nine years and she’s been missing out on a lot, and we see it manifest later on.
“She’s trying new things for herself and I love that for Rebecca because we know that mothers are supposed to be strict and shouldn’t have fun. We’re trying to tell mothers that you can still have fun, but of course in the right way,” says Faith Kibathi.
She added: "The show highlights the different ways people are dating in Nairobi right now, and the opinions people have on dating."
Showrunners have explained that the character’s story is about freedom and identity, and what it means to reclaim one's womanhood as a person who has only ever been defined by motherhood.
Single Kiasi is rated 18 and has been reviewed as a Kenyan show that has managed to boldly portray the sexual experiences of women in Nairobi.
After the first episode aired on Showmax in January to fan feedback such as: “I love how Kenyan shows don’t have filters nowadays. This is the kind of content people love.”
Unlike more conservative shows on Kenyan TV, on the series women have drunken one-night stands with their interns, slay queens pleasure their men under the office desk, and 'Ben10s' jump from one role play to another with older women.
Kibathi has described her experience filming risqué scenes as fun and collaborative.
“My partner [or partners - it would seem she finally lets loose in later episodes] made me feel very comfortable, and of course we needed to have a bit of chemistry off camera because otherwise it would kind of show we are not on the same page. And the fact that we know we’re being professional, and that we’re driving a certain story, that was really important,” explained Ms Kibathi.
The actress has said she has always loved stories that place women at the centre.
“It’s a beautiful storyline with three women as the main characters; I couldn’t pass on that,” she said.
With this role of Rebecca, Kibathi has reached new heights as an actress. After a few years of being on stage and playing supporting roles on shows like This Is Life, this Kibathi’s first major role.
“I’ve played a mother before but never as intense as on this show. It’s always been in smaller parts but with this role I’m able to really show myself as a mother of two kids! The first time I met my kids on the show, it was so beautiful. I’ve always been the cool auntie in real life so I applied that,” the actress stated.
Kibathi has also reported enjoying working with her co-stars Gathoni Mutua and Minnie Kariuki who respectively play the remaining two-thirds of the girlfriends group Sintamei and Mariah.
“My favourite moments in the show are when we’re just the three girls. I love it when we’re just bonding and being girlfriends because, to be honest, the friendship you see there is who we are off-camera,” Kibathi said.
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