She’s known and loved by Kenyans as the hilarious character, Wilbroda, on Citizen TV’s hit comedy show Papa Shirandula.
Nothing really comes on a silver platter in life, and Jacqueline Nyaminde can attest to that.
Even though her flag is flying high, she is not a new kid on the block. Jacquey has been in the acting industry for an impressive 17 years.
Citizen Digital caught up with the lovely Wilbroda at a relaxed joint in the city on Tuesday afternoon, a day after she celebrated her birthday.
She looked gorgeous in her free-flowing floral print maxi dress and make-up free face. She was effortlessly and naturally beautiful!
The full-of-life Wilbroda was all set to exclusively intimate details about her off screen persona. She is our #WCW.
She was very tiny during her childhood
If you see Wilbroda’s tall, elegant, curvaceous frame today-you cannot imagine she was a tiny bodied child.
The first born in a family of six says her miniature frame did not please her, consequently making her to envy her playmates.
“I played bladaa, bano, kalongo… In kalongo, I was always the child because I was very tiny. That used to hurt me! So, nilikuwa naambia yule alikuwa anafanya part ya jogoo, mmmh; baba na mama wakianza tu kulala hivi, wika ndiyo baba na mama wasipate fursa ya kufanya mchezo kasarani!”
She sent me into stitches – my ribs hurt till now.
Wilbroda grew up in Nairobi West, Lang’ata and Rongai. Since her childhood, she has always been a darling to many.
“I had a normal childhood. We were neither rich nor poor,” she said.
Wilbroda says she recently visited the secondary school she attended, Koru Girls’ High School in Nyanza, where she gave a speech.
“The girls were so excited to see me – they literally went wild. I was so humbled since I did not expect to receive such a reception. I gave them a serious talk!”
Can she remember the ‘serious talk’?
“I was shocked I could get that serious! I highlighted everything which is going wrong in the society, for example the case of students having sex in matatus. It is so heartbreaking! I insisted on telling them that they hold the keys to their own future. Their parents are painfully sacrificing to have them in school,” said a somber Nyaminde.
Wilbroda attended Kongoni and Uhuru Gardens Primary Schools in Nairobi for her primary education.
Fame, in Kenya, comes at a price – especially since many people get star-truck in the presence of TV personalities.
“There was a time I was in Mumias, and a lady just came and pinched me! She was like: ‘Haiya, kumbe wewe ni mtu!’ I was left wondering: if they see me on TV, do they think I am a Tom and Jerry character?” she said bursting into laughter.
The friendly artist added that, “Some even get shocked when they see me drive, and speak in English! I’ve heard people say: Haiya, kumbe unajuanga kizungu!”
She wasn’t interested in the ‘Wilbroda’ character at first
Jacqueline says Charles Bukeko, alias Papa Shirandula, approached her with a script for the ‘Wilbroda’ character.
Despite having reservations at first, she accepted after much persuasion.
She narrated: “I used to do a lot of Luo plays at the Kenya National Theatre. So when Charles Bukeko approached me with a script of a Luo woman character, I auditioned.”
Adding: “He gave me the script which I initially wasn’t keen on. But Charles insisted I go through it. I read it, and I was like wow! The Wilbroda woman in the script is me! We later started shooting and it’s been eight years since. Wilbroda is not going anywhere anytime soon.”
In another life she would be a musician
If she didn’t follow theatre, Nyaminde would have been a musician.
“I wanted to be a musician, and it is something I am still passionate about. Back then, I did a lot of background vocals for Makadem, Idi Achieng, Eric Wainaina, Olith Ratego, Mumbi Kaigwa among other artistes.”
Time, according to Nyaminde, is the biggest challenge she’s faced in following her musical ambitions.
“I’d love to do it still – I have been hitting the studio of late, working with Abby Nyinza. The biggest challenge I have faced is time because my schedule is tight.”
Besides being a comedienne, Wilbroda has many titles to her: a Radio Citizen host, an emcee, a commercials act among others.
She is a single mother to an adorable son
Xolani Amin Okello – the name of Wilbroda’s son whom she is extremely proud of.
Wilbroda admits that being a single mother has not been any easy.
She told: “It has its challenges. Everyone looks down upon you because according to society a perfect family has a father, mother and child. Sometimes it’s not really out of choice.”
The dynamics of her relationship with her son are affected by her single-mom status.
“Sometimes when punishing him for a wrong he has committed, I end up questioning myself. I wish I had someone to consult with. Often, I have thought some punishments are too extreme for a mistake done by my son,” said the actress.
Nyaminde agrees with other women who have said raising a son as single woman is difficult: “It gets tougher being a lady bringing up a man – there are some things only a man can teach a man.”
She is very prayerful
When she is disturbed by societal issues, Wilbroda turns to God.
“I pray a lot – these days things like homosexuality is becoming more acceptable. When I look at the rate of drug abuse in the country, I cry within! Look at the state of insecurity in the country!”
She further elaborated: “As a single mother at times when I am in bed I worry – if thugs broke into my house, what would I do to protect my son? I pray to God and tell him: it doesn’t matter how many bodyguards I employ, you are the ultimate security.”
Jokingly, she adds: “Kwanza nikiingia kwa bar, I pray a lot – I even cry. God knows haka katoi changu kakichapa chupa kidogo, she usually comes back to me.”
She is passionate about children
Wilbroda and kids are inseparable.
“I love children! A child cannot cry when I am around. I will go and knock on the door and ask why is he or she crying?”
Her passion for kids has even made her put a curtain on some activities.
“I don’t watch news when I am eating, because an item will be presented of a child who has been raped or who has been murdered. In that very instant, my appetite dies. And that thing can eat at me for weeks.”
Wibroda hopes she soon will establish an orphanage
“I’d want to give those kids motherly care so that they will never think for a minute they don’t have a mother or father. I pray I get the money and land.”
Wilbroda is dating
Sorry men, Wilbroda is taken.
“There’s someone, but I am still considering his suitability. His job is quite public. He is in the industry, but he is very reserved,” revealed the actress.
So are they planning to tie the knot soon?
“Aiiih, bado; mmmh – kama bado mimi ndiyo naweigh yeye, umeanza kuongelea harusi?”
To impress Wilbroda, you have to have good looks: “Truth be told – I would go for a man who is handsome. His face shouldn’t be that of a person amelamba ndimu, ama yuko kama ngumi kwa ukuta.”
Despite her warm nature, Wilbroda is not one for one-night-stands.
“I wouldn’t want a man munakutana wakati wa “Kasarani” pekee, and then in the morning you leave each other’s presence before the sun rises,” said the actress.
“I also prefer someone who is very responsible. You know I have a son – I’d want someone who can be a good example to him and teach him the good ways of life. You don’t necessarily have to be as wealthy as Chris Kirubi; just someone whom I can tell to buy vegetables while I buy the tomatoes. He should also be God-fearing.”
She loves to cook
Wilbroda is a kitchen maniac! This has prompted her to consider putting up a venture which complements her hobby.
“Actually, I want to open a restaurant. I am always watching the food channel and trying out all those things,” revealed an enthusiastic Nyaminde.
Despite her knowledge of foreign cuisine, she loves African dishes: “My favourite meal is kuku ya kienyeji, mboga ya kienyeji, aliya and omena. It never misses in my house. When I was growing up I remember mum telling me what should never miss in a house is vegetables and flour.”
Can she eat broiler chicken?
“No! Some are injected with ARVs going by a media report I recently read.”
Adding: “Lakini people are just evil. Imagine wakati umechukuwa tu kuku unaidunga ARV, kwa akili yako unafikiria nini? Watu ni wa evil hapa nje!”