Citizen TV’s Tabasamu was the hottest drama on TV in the late 2000s, kickstarting the careers of actors like Nick Mutuma and Rosemary Waweru, who played the lead, Maya. So unforgettable was this role that Rosemary has been unable to shake off her character 15 years later.
Somewhere in between, her hiatus pushed her away from the limelight as she focused on motherhood, an experience that she says has been most rewarding.
She re-enters the acting world in the Showmax crime drama series Faithless. Rosemary plays Esther, a struggling waitress whose life is turned upside down when she stumbles on the proceeds of a heist gone wrong. Together with her three devoted church friends, Rosemary has to come to terms with the limitations of their faith as they tread a dangerous path into money laundering.
The actress shares more about her Faithless role, why she had to take a break, and what it means to come back finally.
People still mention Tabasamu when they see you today. How does that feel?
I feel honoured, and I am so happy that my fans still remember the very first show I did. To be loved by so many is not something I take for granted.
We’ve had some great actors since the days of Tabasamu that we no longer see on screen. Any thoughts on that?
You know, as we grow older, our paths change. Sometimes you discover other passions and decide to follow them, which is quite normal.
You took some time off to raise your two daughters. Did you ever miss acting during this period?
Of course, I did. Acting is my first love, but raising my girls was very important to me. And it was also good for me to take a break to rejuvenate and come back stronger, so I think it was necessary to take that time off.
How did you know it was time to make your big comeback on screen?
I felt it in my bones that it was time but I also think everything had finally aligned for me. I had gone out there and tried many things like business and other passions, and I decided to settle on acting. It felt like just coming back home.
At any point, were you scared of coming back and jumping into your role in Faithless?
No, because I feel like this time I have come prepared, having been in the industry for quite some time. I know the mistakes that I made in the past and maybe the things that I didn’t do for my career back then. I came back guns blazing.
What would you say drew you into your character, Esther?
Mostly her integrity throughout the show; she’s a woman who stands by her word. It doesn’t matter what’s going on around her, if she has a certain conviction, she’s going to stick to it. That’s what stood out for me about her. I was like, ‘Yes, this is a character I would love to play.’
Esther’s story is really what kickstarts the ladies’ journey from church to crime. How did it feel to know that the show’s story rests on your shoulders?
I’ve always loved challenges, things that make me get out of my comfort zone, and that is what Faithless was. It was a big burden but I had the right people around me, from the directors to other crew members to the actors, so everything just fell into place. There’s nothing as awesome as working with people who know what they’re doing and who are passionate about it. Definitely something I’d want to do again.
Are we going to see more of you on our screens after Faithless?
Oh, you are definitely going to see a lot more from me from a personal level and also working with other productions. So yes, watch this space for more good things to come.