How Rashid Abdalla Turned Sanaipei Tande Into a Star

  • Kenyan singer and actor Sanaipei Tande.
    Kenyan singer and actor Sanaipei Tande.
  • Singer, songwriter, radio presenter, entertainer and actor are all credentials that can be attributed to the sultry-voiced Sanaipei Tande.

    Unknown to most, her transition into a box office star was actually propelled by Citizen TV news anchor, Rashid Abdalla.

    Granted, Sana (as her adoring fans love to call her) was a star long before she decided to try her hand in acting, having graced us with hit songs such as Ankula Huu and Mfalme wa Mapenzi.

    It was her small skit in her Ankula Huu music video that caught the eye of Rashid, a gifted script-writer and talent scout.

    Rashid Abdalla (Left) poses for a photo with his family. January 10, 2020.
    Rashid Abdalla (Left) poses for a photo with his family. January 10, 2020.

    "Somebody [Rashid Abdalla] saw my song Ankula and they liked it and said that this girl can act. That's how I got Aziza which was written around me," she revealed during a candid interview.

    She had previously made a cameo in Aunty Boss and Bashita, but Aziza saw her transform into a force in the business as she blossomed with each passing episode.

    Sana has gone on to star in runaway hits such as Swahili telenovela Kina, in which she plays the role of the vicious Nana.

    A product of Maisha Magic East, the new drama series jumps right into the action pitting these two worlds against each other. Family man Daudi Mwakazi (Arabron Nyyneque, Kona) is found dead by the river – having been hit on the head then drowned by Nana Tandala (played by Sanaipei Tande), soon after he discovers a secret water source that could benefit the poor community of Misri.

    But getting away with murder is not easy especially when the quest for justice is led by an unrelenting daughter who is not afraid of taking down a powerful water magnate. Young as she may be, Bella Mwakazi (Alyce Wangari, Lusala) becomes a thorn in Nana’s flesh as soon as she discovers foul play in her father’s death. 

    Directed by award-winning filmmaker Likarion Wainaina (Supa Modo) and Victor Gatonye (Dream Child), Kina also stars Jimmy Gathu of the Mpango wa Kando fame who plays Nana’s husband.

    Sana has come a long way since her grand entry into the media scene as part of the all-conquering Sema music group under the Coca-Cola popstars banner.

    Comfortable in who she is, the media personality is an avid karaoke fan, - she would make hosting karaoke shows one of her main hustles since 2007.

    Her undeniable talent has always worked for her good, landing her opportunities that have turned her into a household name.

    Speaking on her music career, she has recently come out with several bangers such as Chaguo la Moyo (which has been played at every single wedding over the last year). However, having grown up in a house rooted in faith, she maintained that following musical trends is not her thing.

    "I may get raunchy in my lyrics but I'm not going to shoot music videos with little to no clothes on, as is the in thing at the moment. I plan on becoming a mother and a wife in future, we all know the internet never forgets," she stated amid an infectious laughter.

    Watch her full interview below: