Former Papa Shirandula actress Jacky Vike commonly known as Awinja, has landed a new role in the government.
In an Instagram post published on Monday, January 30, Awinja announced her appointment as the new ambassador for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).
“Ladies and gentlemen I give you the new brand ambassador for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). It was such an honour to get this role the same day we are celebrating the world day for NTDs. Tuanze kazi sasa. Thank you Ministry of Health for the opportunity to serve the community,” she wrote.
Awinja said she would use her talent to push the agenda that she has been mandated with.
“We all know that comedy and art bring people together and that is what I will be basically doing, I will be pushing the agenda through my craft,” she remarked.
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a diverse group of 20 conditions that are mainly prevalent in tropical areas, where they mostly affect impoverished communities and disproportionately affect women and children. These diseases cause devastating health, social and economic consequences to more than one billion people.
They tend to thrive in developing regions, where clean water supply, sanitation, and access to health care services are scarce.
Awinja: From poverty in Eastleigh to bagging multimillion deals
NTDs include: Buruli ulcer, Chagas disease, dengue and chikungunya, dracunculiasis (Guinea-worm disease), echinococcosis, foodborne trematodiases, human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), leishmaniasis, leprosy (Hansen’s disease), lymphatic filariasis, mycetoma, chromoblastomycosis and other deep mycoses, onchocerciasis (river blindness), rabies, scabies and other ectoparasitoses, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiases, snakebite envenoming, taeniasis/cysticercosis, trachoma, and yaws and other endemic treponematoses.
Vike rose to fame in the Papa Shirandula Show, a local production of Royal Media Services’ Citizen TV that became a hit. She was cast as Awinja, the house help of the starring, the late Charles Bukeko.
After her exit from the show, Vike ventured into content creation and was appointed an ambassador for several leading brands in the country.
In a past interview, the 35-year-old revealed that she grew up in poverty in a family of five.
“My mum wanted me to be an air hostess and even enrolled me in a college and paid my fees, but my heart was not there so I would go to the Kenya National Theatre for rehearsals instead of attending school,” she recounted.
Her breakthrough came while auditing for a show on NTV when she met the late Charles’ Papa Shirandula’ Bukeko.
“This man, Charles Bukeko, Papa Shirandula, the first time he called me for the role Awinja, I remember I told him No I am not good with accents but I know someone who can bring out the Luhya accent really well.
“And I went ahead and gave him my friend’s number, Eh! A month later he called me saying ‘Manze Vike, I believe you can bring out this role really well, stop thinking about the accent too much, just come and let’s work.’ So I went like ‘Just let me go and carry it as a challenge,’ and guys the rest is history,” she recounted.
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