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She Was Almost Giving Up on Acting Before Embracing Stardom

By Jennifer Ochieng
Published March 22, 2024

2023 was both a big and a tragic year for Minne Kariuki. Other than her return in Single Kiasi S2, which like its first season, was among the most-watched shows on Showmax for the year, she also appeared in The Real Housewives of Nairobi, which broke streaming records for most first-day views on Showmax in Kenya. In this same year, she lost her child through a miscarriage, an unfortunate experience that she revealed on The Real Housewives of Nairobi.The year 2023 was both a big and a tragic year for Minne Kariuki. Other than her return in Single Kiasi Season 2, which like its first season, was among the most-watched shows on Showmax for the year, she also appeared in The Real Housewives of Nairobi, which broke streaming records for most first-day views on Showmax in Kenya. In this same year, she lost her child through a miscarriage, an unfortunate experience that she revealed on The Real Housewives of Nairobi.

In the interview below, we chat to Minne about what it means to be pregnant again, her character Mariah on Single Kiasi Season 3, being on The Real Housewives of Nairobi and more.

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First of all, congratulations on your pregnancy. How did you feel finding this out especially with everything that happened to you last year?
I was elated but I was very nervous because, you know, the first three months are the most crucial ones. And I lost my child last year when the baby was nine weeks old. So I would say it was just mixed feelings. I was happy, but still very nervous. This far I’ve gotten, I’m just practising gratitude every day because it’s something that should not be taken lightly, carrying a child until the last term. And we have really waited for this blessing and just being able to expand our family makes me very happy.

Looking at Mariah’s journey, how do you think that your character has evolved from S1?
Mariah wants to face her issues but she’s unsure about it because of the abuse she went through as a child. All these emotions are trapped in her and she just ends up finding solace in men, material things because she refuses to process and deal with her issues.
Has she evolved, really? I think she’s a better friend. And she’s also more focused on getting the bag so she’s also evolved in that aspect. But at the end of the day, she still doesn’t choose herself. I’ve always wanted Mariah to choose herself. I feel like she’s creative and that she’s always finding solutions for her friends. But can she find a solution to her life?

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Mariah and Minne Kariuki on The Real Housewives are two different people. What do you mean? As Minne, I'm focused on my family and business and Mariah isn't. But probably character wise, in terms of the confidence, they could be similar in the sense that we both speak out for ourselves and are very expressive. But I think that's where the similarities end because they are on opposite sides of the spectrum.Some fans have compared your character on Single Kiasi with Minne Kariuki on The Real Housewives of Nairobi. What would you like to tell these fans?
Oh my God, Mariah and Minne Kariuki on The Real Housewives are two different people. What do you mean? As Minne, I’m focused on my family and business and Mariah isn’t. But probably character wise, in terms of the confidence, they could be similar in the sense that we both speak out for ourselves and are very expressive. But I think that’s where the similarities end because they are on opposite sides of the spectrum.

What do you think Mariah would think of The Real Housewives of Nairobi and would she be in it?
Mariah would definitely be on The Real Housewives of Nairobi, period.com. Mariah is a star, she’s a wannabe. She loves fashion and she loves the camera. She wants to show it all. So with a reality show, of course she’ll jump on it very fast.

Last year was a big year for you, appearing in two of the biggest shows in Kenya running concurrently, what was that like?
It was a blessing. I auditioned for Single Kiasi when I was about to give up on acting and that was the best decision I ever made. Look at me three years on. Look at the success of Single Kiasi; it’s one of the most-watched shows on Showmax. For The Real Housewives of Nairobi, being a reality show, the stardom comes with just knowing your worth and who you are and being real.
So I feel blessed to be in these two big shows. It really reassures me that if you listen to God, if you listen to that inner voice and take that bold move and not give up on yourself, it will turn out great. Look at God. That’s all I can say.

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My husband hates Mariah, that's for sure. I asked him why and he was like, because Mariah is not Minne. Mariah is all about men, different men at that. So why would he like a chick like that?
And we do watch the show together. He understands that some of the things my character does on the screen is just acting. And he respects my craft. He has supported me from day one.How has it been acting alongside Gathoni Mutua and Faith Kibathi for three seasons? Have you formed a sisterhood bond or friendship outside of the show?
When you’re on set with someone and have been consistently together for three years, like with Single Kiasi, of course you create a bond. And outside of the set, we’re really good friends even though Faith and I are much closer. We call up to check up on each other and we go for lunch dates.
And I think this bond is important because when we are on set, the chemistry and the energy is real. That’s why our scenes come out so authentic because we are friends outside the show.

I’m curious, what does your husband Lugz think about Mariah?
My husband hates Mariah, that’s for sure. I asked him why and he was like, because Mariah is not Minne. Mariah is all about men, different men at that. So why would he like a chick like that?
And we do watch the show together. He understands that some of the things my character does on the screen is just acting. And he respects my craft. He has supported me from day one.

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