Aicy Stevens: From Instagram skits to lead role in ‘Jiji’, now streaming on Showmax

Aicy Stephens
Aicy Stephens. [Photo/Showmax]

She is mostly known by her arrogant, scowling skit character Mama Ryan but Aicy Stevens has always wanted to be an actor whose work transcends the boundaries of one-minute comedy skits on Instagram. It’s the kind of opportunity that her character on Jiji, the new Showmax youth drama, has given her.

In Jiji, directed by Enos Olik, Aicy plays Mwende, whom she describes as “the typical ghetto lady trying to leave the ghetto and improve her life.” She’s an adventurous beauty, a slick charmer and a natural pickpocket – a valuable asset in her group of four young girls fighting to make ends meet in the streets of Jericho.

For the young actress in her first role on screen, this is just the beginning. “Expect to see much more from me on screen from now on,” Aicy says.

This is your first role in a TV show ever and also your first lead role. How does it feel?

I’m very excited. It’s a beautiful challenge because it’s something I’ve been looking forward to and that will help me grow my skills as an actress. And being a youth drama, Jiji is a story that I hold dear to my heart. This is a different kind of a show, it’s also very relatable and I’m sure our audience is going to love it.

You are mostly known for your Instagram comedy skits as Mama Ryan alongside Nick Kwach. Was acting always the end game for you when you started doing these skits?

It has been my dream since I was a small girl to appear on big screens and thank God it has finally come true. It’s a fire that has been burning for long and yes, Mama Ryan’s role has helped me sharpen my skills. Now, I can immerse myself fully into my Jiji character Mwende and understand her because of the training I’ve had with Mama Ryan.

Talking of Mama Ryan, how did it come about?

It was a random thought that came to mind since I had been doing skits for the longest time. The reception from our fans was very encouraging and gave us more morale to come up with more ideas about Mama Ryan and Baba Ryan. That’s how we built it.

How has it been doing this skit with Nick Kwach?

It has been a beautiful experience full of teamwork. Nick is very creative, open-minded, and very supportive. He has also helped me nurture my acting talent.

Tell us more about your Jiji character Mwende. What do you like most about her?

Mwende is a go-getter, she’s sassy, hardworking, fashionista, a lover of the soft life and a no-nonsense character. What I like most about her is the fact that her character arc is 360 degrees and this gives her an opportunity to play with different emotions and personalities.

What was your reaction when you received the call that you had landed this role of Mwende?

I had a mixture of emotions; I was both shocked and super excited. And I cried because this role is something I had been praying for so long for.

How has it been working with Enos Olik as your director?

I’ve learnt a lot from him, he’s insanely talented and very dedicated and he listens to actors. He’s the kind of director one will always look forward to working with in future projects because he brings the best out of you as an actor.

Jiji is streaming on Showmax, with new episodes releasing every Monday and Tuesday.

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