When Quick Talk requested an interview with tall and beautiful actress and TV/radio personality Malaika Nyanzi, unlike other celebrities that usually need chasing, she gamely agreed to come to The Observer offices that very day! And she was on time…another rarity for Kampala’s celebrities and socialites. Looking neat in blue with fresh cornrows and trendy sunglasses, her confidence strikes Quick Talk first.
Hi Malaika Nyanzi; you are a good timekeeper!
Hi Quick Talk; yeah that’s my nature. [looking at her wrist watch] I have another interview after this one. I would be comfortable if you called me Malaika.
Yeah! Malaika belongs to me but Nyanzi is a family name. [Upbeat:] I’m an angel. I’m Malaika; I don’t want to cling to other people’s names; I want to build my brand. [Understandable, especially when one’s dad is a big brand himself, like renowned artist Nuwa Wamala Nyanzi, Malaika’s father.]
So... Mukyala Lukaku! [Malaika’s crush on Manchester United footballer Romelu Lukaku has been well documented – by her – on Twitter.]
[She laughs heartily, throwing hands in the air] I have a crush on him. That Manchester United player…woow!
By the way, I didn’t create that hashtag; it was somebody else. I know one day I will…[she pauses for effect]…he will meet me!
He is talented, his work ethics are on form…
What would you tell him if you met him?
[Laughs] I would ask him about his passion, faith … buuut, the rest would be a personal conversation.
Man! This lucky, blissfully ignorant man, Lukaku. What if he asked for your hand in marriage?
[Before Quick Talk could even finish the statement:] I would agree immediately [laughs]…anyway, it’s just a crush.
You are relatively still new on the scene. Where have you been?
I was in Nairobi and Japan. I was both studying and working; in fact, I started working at 16!
What? 16 years? So, how old are you now?
Sixteen. [laughs] I will be 16 years even when I [make] 30 years.
You have a stubborn streak about you; what was your childhood like?
Seriously, I was a responsible child and I acted older than my brother. But whenever I got angry, I would just keep quiet.
Your success has been rapid; how do you handle that?
It’s because of God’s grace; there are a lot of things which happen that as a human being I can’t explain. My mum [Esther Tendo] is the most hardworking human being, but she is humble. We both love good things; so, she taught me how to work hard and get what I want.
And your father? [Quick Talk asks because throughout the interview Malaika’s bond with her mother is not in question]
Yeah, he is also hardworking, but he used to travel a lot! And he was a disciplinarian. He used to be a soldier. By the way, we all don’t do what we studied!
I noticed; you studied sciences at A-level.
Yes! I did PEM/Technical Drawing, but [at university I studied] International Business, majoring in Marketing. I went to university and fell in love with Accounting, but later got bored and did Marketing.
Impressive. How do you balance TV, radio and acting?
It is God! I always ask God for an extra day in the week. It is all about work, work, work! It is my social life that is affected.
Social life… are you married?
No! I’m still young [ahh, yes; sweet 16] but maybe in the near future.
How many children are we looking at?
[Excitedly:] Five. That’s the maximum, but minimum of three.
Yes! I know someone who comes from a big family of seven but they have an amazing family. My dream is to have triplets and then twins, then I close it.
Hmmm…triplets for a slay queen?
I don’t fall in that category, but I am a queen and I am God’s favorite child… the word ‘slay queen’ depends on your definition.
So, are you in any relationship?
No, not at the moment. I recently came out of one [Quick Talk hopes Lukaku is reading this.]
You are very smart, by the way. Where do you shop from?
[Gives that look that asks, ‘really?’] I like shopping in Uganda, in places like Anita Beryl, Bantu and Sheila Gashumba’s shop. I also buy from abroad when I travel.
So, [with all seriousness] is it so important for a girl’s bra to match her panties?
[Quickly veiling her shock] Depending… [laughs] that’s a choice of an individual and it’s all about comfort and ability.
What must be in your handbag, without fail?
[Checks her purse:] Mascara… [Quick Talk naively asks what that is and Malaika explains it is for the eyelashes], a handkerchief and a book.
Hmm, you like reading?
Yes I do! [Shows Quick Talk a book written by televangelist Joyce Meyer titled, Battlefield of the Mind.]
What is your latest fashion craze?
Neon green, lime green colours… I am loving bell bottoms and stylish sneakers.
In an election, would you vote for Bobi Wine or President Museveni?
I support Uganda. I don’t care who gets there. I will support whoever; every day, I pray for our leaders.
Nice nails; do you do laundry or cook?
Yes! [She googles on her phone and shows Quick Talk a dish of spaghetti bolognese that she says she can make.]
How often do you cook?
I have a busy schedule and I don’t cook that often. The cleaning, I do that often. I’m obsessed with cleanliness.
What don’t people know about Malaika?
I don’t know, but I know they don’t know a lot.
Should a woman’s place be a kitchen or boardroom?
She can be wherever she wants to be.
Do you believe in submission…the man being the head of the family?
[Nods] Yes, I do, because the Bible says so. [She actually quotes the verse and Quick Talk is pleasantly surprised that this angel is very God-fearing. Refreshing for the socialite scene!]