Dating in Nairobi laid bare as Single Kiasi, ‘Single-ish’ premieres

Single Kiasi features TV stars Lenana Kariba, Dora Nyaboke and Michael Munyoki

The Single-ish cast

Single-ish (Single Kiasi), a 13-part drama series, officially premiered on Showmax becoming the second Kenyan original series to be unveiled by the streaming platform.

The show will be airing every Thursday and has been been made available to Kenyans in the UK, France and 31 other countries in the diaspora.

In the course of its 13 episodes, the show follows Sintamei, Rebecca and Mariah as they go through the ups and downs of love and dating in Nairobi while highlighting the trio's strong friendship.

Sintamei who is played by Gathoni Mutua is trying to start a family with her loving husband Kevin, played by Lucarelli Onyango, while still building a career in corporate law.

Rebecca played by actress Faith Kibathi is all about motherhood, being a housewife and staying loyal to her pauper partner Eric who is played by Michael Munyoki.

And Mariah who is played by Minne Kariuki is all about expensive gifts and traveling to the best destinations courtesy of her rich sponsor’s money, while living a social media influencer's life online.

“Paris was amazing. If your guy takes you to Dubai, please dump him,” the character tells her followers while on a private jet from her vacation in France.

At the beginning of the first episode, they seem to have their lives and their romantic relationships under control but dating in Nairobi can be hectic.

It doesn’t take long before the men of Single Kiasi prove the popular saying in the City’s dating scene: “Men will embarrass you unprovoked,” as reiterated by the character Mariah.

The show is adapted from the popular South African series Unmarried, which already has successful adaptations in Nigeria and Ghana.

“It’s a universal story of womanhood, love and friendship. But we had to make some changes here and there for the story to reflect who we are as Kenyans,” says producer and director Grace Kahaki.

For instance, the new show incorporates a Kikuyu traditional marriage ceremony Ngurario in place of a church wedding.

“In the South African version, one of the leading women has an affair with a security guard but we felt that this wasn’t authentic to the Kenyan setting so we changed the guard to an intern, which is more reflective of what happens here,” co-producer Kahaki says.

The show also contains universal themes such as sexism in the workplace, which oftentimes affects women.

“This show aims to look at women through our three main characters and allow them to choose what label they want to attach to themselves, be it single, married, wife, career woman, mother or others,” noted Kahaki.

Kahaki co-produced and co-directed Single Kiasi alongside her Insignia Productions counterpart Philippe Bresson and Robby Bresson (Simiyu Samurai).

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