Catherine Kamau, who is also known as Kate Actress, is a renowned Kenyan actor who became a household name and won the hearts of Kenyans when she joined the local television drama series, Mother-In-Law, and played as Selina. Kate also describes herself as a social media influencer and Emcee.
The vibrant actress was born on the 3rd of February 1987 in Nyahururu and she is the firstborn in her family. As of 2020, she is 33 years old. She has starred in movies like Sue na Jonnie, Disconnect, Plan-B, and many others.
Catherine studied from Chogoria High School where she joined the school’s drama club to nature her acting talent. Being a naughty young girl, Kate made it a habit of skipping classes during lunch hours to watch shows like Tausi and Wingu la Moto which were popular local shows at the time. Although she did not understand the basics of acting then, she knew it was a career that she would pursue in the future.
I have been into acting since my high school days. I remember that I used to skive classes to go watch “Tausi” during lunch hours. There was also this show “Wingu la Moto” which had Nini Wacera, who was my favourite actress then. I never understood what acting was then, but I knew it was what I wanted to do.
Despite her great acting skills, the outspoken actor got herself into serious trouble after mimicking her headmistress and landed herself an expulsion. She was later transferred to Loreto Msongari school and bagged the Miss Msongari title after winning a pageant competition.
The mother of two later enrolled in Kenya College of communications and Technology and graduated with a diploma in Communications. She then decided to cross the Kenyan borders and pursue her tertiary education at Makerere University in Uganda.
Catherine had to put her studies on hold after discovering she was pregnant barely two months after her admission into the institution and at only 19, she went through the pregnancy and named her son Leon Kamau.
She was forced to travel back home with her son, burdened with the fear of facing her strict mother but lucky for her she was in South Africa and Kate broke the news to her via a “very long letter” apologizing.
Her parents adjusted to her newly found journey of motherhood and supported her even tough the celebrated actress felt she had disappointed them as a firstborn child.
I had just joined the campus in Uganda I grew up with my very strict mum. This was my first time alone, first time away, exploring. Aki hata sikumaliza 2 months nikajazwo!Those were the toughest years of my life but I am grateful for my parents. As much as I had disappointed them as their first-born child, they supported me; even though it took them a while to adjust, especially my father.My mum always jokes that he is the degree I brought from Uganda.–She revealed in an interview.
Her dreams of acting materialized when her cousin Tina, who was a cast member of Mother-in-law informed her of an opportunity to feature in the show as a dancer. This was a one time opportunity but Kate gave it her all and instead of receiving the expected payment of Ksh. 1000, the impressed producer paid her with Ksh.5000.
It was not the end as she continued casting in the show as a receptionist, took the role of Selina, and rose to become part of the main cast. Her bold character in the TV series grew her name and she became a household name since 2008. However, it became a shocker when she decided to quit the show eight years later.
Her reason for quitting was to explore new challenges as an actor and eight years on a single TV series was a very long period to her. The move affected her acting career but it opened doors for her and she became Harpic’s brand ambassador for over seven years.
Contrary to other public figures or influencers, she committed to only working with the Harpic brand and grow with it through the years and make an impact with them. The business move kept her as the detergent’s brand ambassador to date.
For Harpic I was wise enough to know not to be on every other brand because when you are everywhere you tend to water down your brand. But that doesn’t mean I am only tied to Harpic. I want to be known for a few brands and make some kind of impact with them. It’s the same with the shows.
Besides acting and working as a brand ambassador to Harpic, Kate also works with Philit Productions, a Kenyan production company that aims to create content that will revolutionalize the entertainment industry in Kenya. Philit productions have produced great shows like Sue na Jonnie and Ma empress that air on various TV platforms.
I took three years trying to market my new show “Sue and Jonnie” but no one was ready to invest in it. Most producers were scared to hire me because they thought I was expensive.
Networth and properties
Catherine once claimed she is the highest-paid actress in Kenya following her role in Sue na Johnie. Producers are usually afraid to work with her because they fear she charges expensively for acting roles.
I would say I am a bankable actress and, for that, I don’t take less. I want to keep being the most paid actress in the country. My sweat equals my price tag. I honestly think I am the highest-paid actress at the moment in the country, and this trickles down to how I have been able to package my brand.
She advised established actors to put in hard work in their acting roles to earn good money as they build their careers.
If it’s a series the minimum should be Sh15,000 per episode for main roles. For extra roles the least would be Sh8,000. For films you give a round quotation based on the role and scenes you are in.
Although her net worth is not disclosed, she has an ambassadorial job with a new cosmetics brand known as Zaron. The deal is said to be of a whooping sum.
Relationships and Marriage
The lass got married to Philip Mwaniki, who is remembered best from his role as a student in Tahidi High local drama. The two tied the knot back on November 17, 2017, at the luxury Windsor Hotel. Her husband works in the entertainment industry and Phil It Productions that runs a number of programs on Maisha Magic East.
In an interview with Standard Digital News Phil disclosed that he had no problem taking in Leon as his own son. At first, they had problems ‘fighting’ for Kate’s attention but things got better as life went by and now they are inseparable. He even calls him ”Dad”.
We are like brothers now. Our bond is so strong nowadays the mum gets jealous at times. Though I keep stressing that I am not his friend first, I am his father and teacher first.
The couple also welcomed a daughter Baby K late last year but they shy off from sharing her photos on social media to protect her from the internet’s insensitivity. Kate explained that it would take a while before she fully posts a picture of her child on social media so as to protect her from the ‘negative energy the internet gives off’.
When asked about the whereabouts of her EX baby daddy. the actress revealed that his inconsistency as a father led her to cut him off because he was a deadbeat parent to their son Leon and they barely knew each other.
When I went to campus (Makerere University), we were getting to know each other when the boy came. He tried to be in his life but he wasn’t consistent. It got to a point where I decided to cut him off because he wasn’t helping much. He became a deadbeat father. I tried to explain to my son the situation we got ourselves into; that he was a child born into love, in as much as his father is out of the picture.
The Plan-B actress has since moved on with her husband Phil, and they occasionally document their relationship and family life on their social media pages.
Facts about Catherine Karanja
Catherine is one of the most talked-about and sought after actresses in Kenya. The voluptuous queen is hardworking, a foodie, outspoken, and commands respect in the Kenyan movie industry.
Unlike other Kenyan celebs, the beauty queen has managed to stay away from controversy or be a subject of discussion among internet trolls. The mother of two is also a lover of fashion and often flaunts her sense of style on social media.
Ever since she gained fame and popularity, the unchanging thing about her is that she always eats her Mutura from her favorite butcher when she is in the hood.
The only thing she dislikes about fame is that she lost her sense of privacy and has to always look good to protect her brand and image as a public figure.