I have to admit John Kiriamiti's books were the highlight of my primary school life.For those who knew me,i always had my nose buried in a novel glasses pressed hard against my nose or squinting when my glasses broke and they broke a lot.
John Kiriamiti's books offered me an escape from the dull prison that was boarding school so you can imagine how excited I was when i was told that one of my favorite books was being brought to life.
I was however disappointed like many other Kenyans on learning that Nigerian actor Jim Iyke would play the role of Zollo,it was ridiculous!It is like me being cast to play a role like the Duchess of Cambridge in the 1800's.
Do not get me wrong Jim is an awesome actor but I felt that the film would lack that Kenyan authenticity that only a Kenyan could pull off .Nairobi Half-Life was successful because of employing local talent.
Steven Anderson Wekesa a film critic and lecturer at the Department of Theatre Arts and Film Technology in Kenyatta University had this to say about Iyke playing the role:
"In my opinion, not only is it unethical and disrespectful to hire a “foreigner” to play the role of one of the most popular Kenyan “criminals,” I find it absurd that Jim Iyke is this foreigner. Not only is Jim Iyke an overrated “bad boy” but I strongly believe he is not any better an actor than our own Peter King, Ainea Ojiambo, Maina Olwenya, Mwaura Bilal, Melvin Alusa, Makbul Mohammed or “Master Sugu” (the thug in Tausi).
I am of a strong opinion that he will not deliver just like he has failed to in many other Nigerian movies that I have watched. Apart from the fact that he is not always as believable in his body language, his Black American accent will be a major factor in his failure if he decides not to shed it and speak like John Kiriamiti. The directors have to work extremely hard to deliver on Jim’s acting."
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