Sultana lead actress Mwanasha Johari recently opened up about her life, family and career in a one on one conversation with her boss Lulu Hassan.

The actress had a troubled childhood after losing her parents at a tender age of 7 months. Her uncle and his wife assumed the responsibilities of bringing her up but they were very needy.

In 2008, she landed an opportunity to live in an orphanage in Utange, and this was the turning point of her life although she was forced to leave the safe home after completing form four. At that point she returned to her uncle’s home in Kwale.

“I was told my time in the orphanage was up I should go and start my life. It was sad. Us, girls, we didn’t want to finish and go. We were protected, loved and they would buy for us things. We were taken care of well. When we reached puberty, our guardian would allow us to go to the market but under a very tight security,” she narrated.

After returning home, her uncle and aunt wanted to take her to Madrassa but her dream was to pursue acting and also be an air hostess. Her guardian at the orphanage approved her career dreams and prayed that they would come to pass.

“My uncle and aunt at home were against it. They wanted me to go to Madrassa. But I was like no, its not like I don’t know God. I want to act because I was already  through Madrassa at the orphanage. My uncle did not agree saying it is a sin, it is not allowed,” she recounted.

Since they could not reached a consensus, Sultana ran away from home and went to Mombasa to follow her acting dream and also find a job that will help her support her family.

“Let me honest, I ran away from home in Kwale. I had returned there in 2019. They had plans to take me to madrassa, boarding, they were in a meeting. Yet I did want to go. That day I woke up, I packed my bags I said I am leaving to find a life for myself. I had goals and dreams that I wanted to achieve, and they would not pass in Madrassa. I left and switched off my phone saying I will not communicate with my family until I got an acting job,” she said.

After leaving home, she went to stay with one of the girls that she was raised with at the orphanage. She camped at her place as she tirelessly looked for acting roles. Her efforts bore fruits as an extra role in a wedding scene came up in Nyanya Rukia film.

“I did my best and went to the scene. I did not leave after completing my duty, others finished and left but I stayed looking for the Assistant Director. When I saw him I told him  to call me when he wants extras and he used to looked for me for the extra roles,” Sultana said.

She continued to work on the extras and being present in several acting scenes.

“After one month, I was disheartened because I had not gotten a better job but I was grateful because I had some acting  roles.  I was still looking for a job, I received a call that there was an extra role at Kaidi series,” she said.

Months later she was approved for a maiden role in the palace in Pete. The salary was great and it was a better role as compared to the extra ones. However, the shooting location was on the way to her uncle’s place.

“I said I wouldn’t go for that job before going home because it was a contract. I went home apologized to my uncle and auntie. I told them I don’t want to go for Madrassa but I had landed a job. They were happy and grateful that I had found a  job,” Sultana recalled.

He role at Pete came to an end and she was once again left jobless for sometime. She however landed a modelling gig for the Rashid Abdalla super cup in 2022. She would later come across a poster calling for auditions for Sultana on Lulu Hassan’s social media page.

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