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Child Actors Whose Careers Ended When They Became Adults

By Prudence Minayo

Child actors have graced Kenyan screens since acting became popular in the 90s. While some continued acting, others have settled for a life out of the industry. Below is a list of top child stars who seem to have given up on acting:

Suleiman Sheriff

He got notoriety for his role on popular television series, Junior. He played Junior’s elder brother, Baken, and was a witty child whose character always landed him in trouble.

Suleiman Shariff ‘Baken’ [Photo|Courtesy]

In the recent past, several publications posted stories alleging that the former child star had been roughed up pretty badly over theft allegations. He was accused of stealing a motorbike and phones from a family that had hosted him for Christmas and then proceeded to withdraw more than Sh100,000.

After being beaten severely, he was later taken to Jogoo Police station. Nairobi News also reported that the 20-year-old had been caught in 2016 trying to steal from houses in Nyayo Estate.

He was roughed up before being let go.

Ian Munene

He starred in the popular Machachari series as Almasi. He was a somewhat rich kid who was kind and loving to his friends from the slums. He was often portrayed as the level headed fellow in a group of kids and always came up with solutions to problems.

Ian Munene ‘Almasi’ [Photo|Citizen Digital]

He left the show and traveled to the United Kingdom where he continued with his education.

Later, he embraced cross dressing and his photos always left followers questioning his sexuality. Despite the naysayers, he continued expressing himself in whatever way he wanted. The former actor then joined Hinduism. This was after he had battled depression after his mother was diagnosed with cancer.

Later, he became a Hindu teacher before joining the Hare Krishna movement. Ian was so excited about the change that he couldn’t wait to share with his fans.

“This isn’t the kinda picture I would normally post on here… but damn I just can’t help it! I’ve found something really beautiful… connecting to the divine through song and dance is the most ecstatic thing that could have happened to me!”

“In Christianity, we say “Hallowed Be Thy Name”… The name’s of the Lord which is unlimited just like the waves of the ocean are our means of deliverance in this day and age!,” he partly said.

Joy Ohon

She started as Joy in Machachari, and was Almasi’s youngest sister. She was easily one of the youngest actors in the show at the beginning.

Photo|Joy Ohon| Instagram


Today, she keeps a low profile and it is not clear whether she plans to return to the acting scenes.

Trevor Gitongo

Before moving to the United Kingdom, Trevor starred in various productions, including: Leo and Changes. He also participated in the KPLC advertisement, Umeme Pamoja.

Years after his move, he became transgender and began referring to himself as Taylor. In a series of posts in 2022, he would suggest that he was suffering and depressed. He said he needed help or he would have to move back to Kenya.

“I’ve been keeping track ya know I eat on average 2 days of the week,” he tweeted.

Later, he revealed on Facebook that he was battling a schizoaffective disorder (a form of schizophrenia that is slightly different. He also asked for help to move back home and spend time with family.

Moreen Naibei

Moreen starred as Lindi in the production,Tausi. In the series, she was a lovely young girl who lost both her parents and went to live with her aunt Rhoda. Her aunt makes her life miserable forcing the younggirl to flee.

She escapes to the streets where she is adopted by a gang. The show became the most watched in the country and she was one of the first child stars to have success in a local production.

Tausi wrapped up in 2000 and she later got a role in KBC’s Kisulisuli. She quit acting once she got to high school and afterwards pursued other interests.

Romeo Abrash

He played Junior in the series Junior. As the main character, his role endeared him to a lot of fans. Since the show ended, he has kept a low profile and there is no indication yet that he will act in another