The sports category has moved to a new website.

Meet Ian Mbugua's talented 'daughter' Vanessa Okeyo

Talented actress Vanessa Okeyo is making a name for herself in the Kenyan entertainment industry with her lead role in Showmax's telenovela 'Second Family'.

Ian Mbugua and Vannessa Okeyo

She portrays Sinde Lang'at, the daughter of Leo (played by Ian Mbugua), who inherits her father's successful milling company after his sudden death. Sinde finds herself in a world of power struggles and betrayal, where only the most ruthless succeed.

Despite her inexperience, Sinde is a determined and intelligent character. Vanessa describes her as someone who never gives up and always strives to achieve her goals. Vanessa herself is rooting for Sinde's success, just like the viewers.

"She may be naive but she’s not stupid. She’s very smart and she’s a go-getter. She will do whatever she sets her mind to do, and that’s what I love about her. She doesn’t give up. I am rooting for her to win, just like everyone else," she says.


For Vanessa, landing the lead role in 'Second Family' was a significant milestone in her acting career. Initially unaware of the magnitude of the role, she was pleasantly surprised when she received the news.

"When I got the call, I didn’t pick up, not intentionally though. I had a very rough day and I didn’t know if it was good news or bad news. My head was all over the place but when I called back and got the news, I was over the moon. I could not believe it. Till now I am just like, ‘Slap me, please; this cannot be real,’" she recalled.

Although she felt the pressure to meet people's expectations and work on such a prominent show like Showmax, the positive reception from viewers has boosted her confidence.

"Part of me was like, ‘Am I going to meet people’s expectations? Are viewers going to love me?’ Because Showmax is huge, and the fact that so many people would be watching the show made me so nervous, especially being a new face in the industry. But so far so good; I can see people love it and it makes me happy," she said.


Working alongside established actors such as Mumbi Maina, Brian Ogola, Dora Nyaboke, Ian Mbugua, and Helen Keli has been a valuable learning experience for Vanessa. She admires their craft, studies their performances, and seeks their advice for her career development.

"I’ve learnt a lot from them, and I usually study how they do their craft, watch their performances whenever we are together on set, and pick up a few things. Once in a while, I seek advice from them career-wise," she says.

You can catch 'Second Family' on Showmax.


Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: