Esther “Estelle” Mwai is an agent of change. She’s passionate about life and loves giving back to the community. This is why she turned down a job offer to work as a radio presenter in Tanzania and instead opted to remain and work with her community.
Born and brought up in Nakuru, Esther has always come back to live with the community that moulded her. She’s not ashamed to admit that she is a product of the ghetto but that has not limited her vision in life.
“I was born in the semi slum area of Kivumbini. Many would be ashamed to admit that but am proud of that heritage and am determined to change the lives of these people,” says a determined Esther.
She’s out to prove that anyone can make it in live regardless of where or the circumstances of their birth.
Esther the leader
Ever since she can remember, leadership has always been thrust her
way. But she remembers taking the reins of leadership proper while in class six at Menengai Primary School. That’s when she first became a class prefect.
When she joined Njoro girls Secondary school after her KCPE, she was once again to find herself in a position of leadership while in Form two. This time she became the Deputy Head girl. She however transferred to Nakuru Day secondary school for her Form 3 and Four and in 2008 founded the Journalism Club at the school.
A staunch Catholic, she was elected the Youth leader at Christ the King Catholic Church in 2006 while still in secondary school. She was the Young Catholic Society (YCS) leader for the whole diocese.
She is also a board member of the Nakuru County Youth Bunge Forum.
Passion in performing arts
Ever since she was in form 1, Esther was writing choral verses. She also loved acting and was always involved as a member of her church youth group.
“I’ve always been interested in the arts industry from an early age and I always knew I would shine on the national stage,” says Ester with passion.
Being a firm believer in self-discipline, she believes in always doing the right thing and this has been her guiding principal throughout her career as an actor.
“I came to Nairobi in 2010 and joined the “Jicho Four” performing group at the Kenya National Theatre (KNT),” reveals Esther who is fondly referred to as Estelle by her friends. It was here that she first interacted with Jalang’o, Steve Ogana and Mwana Mwende of Coro FM.
Esther the Marketer
Esther is also an accomplished marketer. While still at KNT, she first did marketing for Fanaka Arts where she also acted on stage. She also did marketing for Johari where she also did vernacular plays.
Her foray into marketing took her as far as Lebanon. Working for Shaljah Motors, she travelled to Beirut in Lebanon’s capital city where she was marketing automobiles. This was between January 2013 and September of the same year.
Even as she carries on with her acting career, Estelle is still in marketing but this time round she’s marketing her Events company, Emerald Events that she founded in 2014.
Getting into Radio
Esther is a fully trained Radio Drama writer and producer. She did the training while she was working at Nakuru based Catholic radio station,
Radio Amani.Having returned to the country after her tour of duty in the Middle East, Esther joined Radio Amani in October 2013 as a presenter. She used to co-host with Kevinn Omwami who is currently on Churchill show in a programme that focused on youth issues. She left the station in August 2014.
Estelle the Actor
In 2015, Esther attended a radio presenter show audition that had attracted over 6000 contestants. She emerged in the top 100 and it’s here that she got a chance to audition and successfully join the Daktari Show cast.
Esther acts as Nurse Cate in the show that airs on KTN every Tuesday at 7:30 PM. As Nurse Cate, Estelle describes herself as an outgoing character who enjoys life and takes things lightly. She’s however very strict with her duties.
She has also featured “Nose of Gold” acting as a police woman. The program used to run on KTN but is now available on MNET. Another film on which she has acted is the yet to be released series, “Nanyorr” which is a Maasai word meaning “The one I love.”
Gutuka is her first main Radio drama which she did in October 2015. The show will be out soon and it focuses on leadership, the pros and cons of ethnic diversity and also issues of gender.
Working with the community
Her mother was for many years the secretary of the Nakuru Railway workers Union and growing up in this environment, Estelle always knew she would end up in a leadership position and being involved with the community.
In partnership with Charles Mwangi of Manyani Environment Youth Forum, they have recently started the Wezesha Initiative to serve their communities. They have been involved in activities like donation of sanitary towels to school girls and pads to young needy mothers.
“I’ve always been involved in working with the less fortunate in the society; orphans, the aged and single mothers in my area are a vulnerable part of the society and it’s my desire to see their standards improve,” says Esther.
“I would also love to see especially the youth having a renewed mind-set and stop looking down upon themselves. They should be the change they desire to be,” adds Esther.
With her background and experience, she strongly believes that her srea deserves better in terms of representation.
“We are facing big challenges in Kivumbini ward. Drainage is a perennial problem and the infrastructure is very poor. We need floodlights to stem the rising insecurity and with the high population that keeps rising daily, I believe that we need a health facility put up in the area,” Esther passionately articulates what she feels needs to be looked into.
It’s for this reason that she has decided to throw her hat into the ring come 2017 and vie for the post of the Member for County Assembly in Kivumbini Ward.
“Am sure am the right person. I was born and grew up here. I understand the people and their needs and I believe and trust am the person to change the destiny of the area for the better,” declares the passionate political aspirant.
Coupled with her vision in politics is her vision for her event’s company that she founded in 2014 and her love for theatre.
“I want to make Emerald Events the best events company in East Africa. I also want to be the leading film producer and also start a talent school to nurture the yong as part of giving back to society,” she reveals.