Following his breakthrough appearance on Citizen TV’s Mother-in-Law, Alfred Munyua, aka Swapo, became a popular figure among many Kenyans. Since leaving the show, he has bagged numerous other roles in local and international productions.
Here is his story as told by WoK.
Interest in Arts and Education
His love for the arts started in primary school after teachers noticed his talent. Apart from writing top-notch compositions and insha, he also reciteD poems and give the vote of thanks during school functions. Through high school and college, he took part in drama, films and theatre.
He graduated from the University of Nairobi with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Media Studies in 2009.
He appeared as Swapo on Mother-in-Law, where he acted as one of her staff. He quit the show after about a decade and said in a past interview that he needed to find purpose as Alfred Munyua not Swapo. Most people would call him Swapo rather than his real name.
“I just fell like it was time. It was a very good look, but at some point when you feel that its no longer challenging, there is a newness that I lost because I could even tell how the show is going.
This however did not stop people from calling him Swapo.
“It has been ten years but people still call me Swapo, even after all the things I have done. I just walked away, guys called me, called my mum. It was a hard decision to make,” he said.
After leaving Mother-in-law, he was jobless for a year before getting a job.
Alfred has featured in different productions, such as, Makutano Junction, Poacher, All Girls Together, Sense8, Hit and Run, Nafsi, The First Grader and Crime and Justice.
In Kenya’s crime thriller, Crime and Justice, he plays the role of a detective who is a family man. Over the years, his passion for the job has unknowingly diminished especially because of the systems in place. Getting the role involved a rigorous process where he was recalled eight times.
Problem with the industry
The actor believes that although the Kenyan film industry has grown into a multi billion revenue industry, greed is the main problem.
This greed,which begins at the very top, and the government’s lack of proper interest has led to a slow growth.
According to him the country has all the resources including actors and beautiful locations which are not properly utilized.
“We are talking about an industry that is worth Sh200 billion each year, but the environment is not conducive and goodwill from concerned authorities is lacking,” he said in a previous interview.