Kenya: I Lost Many Friends When I Became Famous, ‘Maria’ Lead Actress Reveals


As much as popular telenovela is loved, the show has also become a magnet for online trolls.

Lead character of the show, 20-year-old Yasmeen Saiedi , spoke to the Sunday Nation.

Before Maria, many had never heard of you, what were you engaging in?

I finished my high school studies in 2018. Basically, at that particular time, there wasn’t much I was doing. I landed the ‘Maria’ role in early 2019.

How did you learn of the auditions and what prompted you to go?

I learnt that there were auditions for a TV show through my circles and I thought to myself, “why can’t I go and give it a shot?”. There wasn’t much I would lose from trying.

Did you think you would make the cut?

I would be telling a lie if I say “yes”. This was just destiny. I should say, I honestly gave it my all. I executed the role so well that everyone in the room got mesmerised. It was destiny.

Sounds like you’ve got a lot of confidence in yourself?

I believe I do. But, on this one, I was really nervous. I had never done such a thing before, and wasn’t quite sure or convinced that I had this talent. I joked a lot about acting and drama, but not for a second Had I ever thought I was good enough.

Did you ever think the show would thrust you into the limelight?

Honestly, I didn’t know “Maria” was going to be as huge as it is. I was doing something to keep me busy and perhaps earn a little coin.

How has the fame changed your life?

My life has changed a great deal. Being famous is not an easy thing, unlike it may seem too many. I no longer run my errands with ease as before, because of all the attention I get every single moment I show up in a place. I also lost a lot of friends when I became famous.

Are you suggesting fame is a bad thing?

Not really. It has its pro and cons, but you’ve got to learn how to live with it positively.

Why did you friends leave after you became famous?

I guess many felt intimidated with my fame. Some didn’t understanding enough; that this was just me working. I would also say some were jealous of the achievements. But people come and go, I made new friends.

Is Yasmeen as naïve as Maria is?

Maria is the person you see on the screens. Yasmeen is friendly, outgoing, smart, eccentric and fierce.

Still being new in the game, would you say acting in Kenya pays well?

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