By Staff Writer
Mother in law was a local program that aired on Citizen TV. It was a cocktail of the young and old actors who popularised watching local programs. Catherine Kamau, popularly known as Selina, found a fertile ground to nurture her acting skills in the program. Even after exiting Mother in Law, she continues to bring laughter during this hard Covid-19 pandemic times with the funny short videos she shares on social media platforms. The 33 year old has also featured in her own production ‘Sue na Jonnie’ in 2017, plan B in 2019, and Disconnect in 2018.
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Catherine Kamau was born on the 3rd February 1987 in Nyahururu. She is the first born in her family.
Catherine attended Chogoria high school. She joined the school’s drama club where she flourished. Kate told MC Jessy on his YouTube channel ‘Jessy Junction’, how she was expelled from school for mimicking the headmistress.
“I started to imitate the teacher, it was 4 am. I was bored in class. Normally our headmistress would cover herself in a blanket and walk around the school to check in on us during the morning preps. So, one day I also decided to take the blanket and move around the school pretending to be her. Unfortunately, she found me,” the talented Kate told Jessy.
She then joined Loreto Msongari School where she won the Miss Msongari pageant competition.
The actress joined KCA University for an accountancy course but found out it was not her cup of tea. “Mum insisted I apply for accounting at KCA University, and I did. Wacha nikwambie nilianguka nilikuwa nimesimama na kichwa. I have never balanced any account. I had no balance in life, how do you expect me to balance account,” she posed.
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She later joined Kampala International University where she had to cut off her studies after learning she was pregnant at the age of 19. Her mother had taken a kes400,000 loan for her studies but ended up being disappointed.
Finding out she was pregnant
The then 19 year old was in a foreign country on her own and away from the strict clutches of her mother. Barely two months into her admission at Makerere University, Celina learned that she was pregnant with her son Leon Kamau. Remembering that period, Celina told a local media house;
“I had just joined campus in Uganda I grew up with my very strict mum. This was my first time alone, first time away, exploring. Aki hata sikumaliza 2 months nikajazwo!”
She had to halt her studies midway and travel back home to get her son. Luckily her mother was in South Africa and this kind of made it easy for her to break the news via “…. a very huge letter apologizing.”
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Father of Leon
Catherine did not have much going on with the man who fathered Leon who she referred to in the Daily Nation as a dead-beat father. The actress said her son’s father tried to be in his life but was never consistent forcing her to cut links with him.
Her entry in professional acting was courtesy of her cousin Tina who was a cast member in Mother in Law. The actress was informed by her cousin that the show producer was looking for a dancer to appear on the program. She gave it her all and the producer was so impressed that instead of paying her Sh1,000 she paid her sh5,000. And this was not the end. She was cast as a receptionist before taking the role of Selina and finally became the main character. Selina became a much loved character from 2008 when she joined the show and it came as a shocker when she called it quits eight years later.
Her acting career opened doors every entertainer yearns for. An endorsement with Harpic. She has been Harpic’s ambassador for more than seven years. In ‘One on One’ interview on DN, the actress said she doesn’t take “very other brand because when you are everywhere you tend to water down your brand. But that doesn’t mean I am only tied to Harpic. I want to be known for a few brands and make some kind of impact with them. It’s the same with the shows.”
Cate is married to Philip Mwaniki, who is best remembered for his role as student in Tahidi High. The two tied the knot at Windsor Hotel on November 17, 2017. Philip is in production and owns Phil It Productions that has a number of programs on Maisha Magic East. In an interview with SDE, Phil said he had no problem adopting Leon as his own son. At first they had problems “fighting for the attention of the most important woman in our lives…” but this changed as time went by.
His relationship with his stepson is good that he even calls him dad. “We are like brothers now. Our bond is so strong nowadays the mum gets jealous at times. Though I keep stressing that I am not his friend first, I am his father and teacher first.”
Baby Number Two
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The actress gave birth to her second baby on 15.12.2019.
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