When the show was advertised at the end of 2015, there was a lot of excitement, only to be cut short by the reality that they would only audition in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
Top Actor Africa was a hit even before the auditions, thanks to the success of the South Africa-only edition. Ghanaians travelled to South Africa to audition, so did Ugandans ‒ to Kenya. But at the end of it all, the show had only two East Africans; Lorreine Wangui Gakuo and Alexander Eliab Khainga.
The big lots of contestants as it is known for shows flagged as ‘African’ were from Nigeria and South Africa. South Africa was represented by Shamilla Miller from Cape Town, Farrell Drew from Durban and Marilyn Sekgapane, Jesse Suntele, Hendrik Lombard, Simhle Belinda Plaatjies and Sabelo Sibeko from Johannesburg.
Nigeria was represented by Tobechi Nneji, Uriel Oputa and Ifeanyi Dike. After weeks of ‘blood and sweat,’ eliminations saw people forge alliances. The season finally came to an end with the winner being crowned on Tuesday night.
The finalists included Khainga, Miller and Suntele; Miller had a good season, thus many projected her to win, considering the fact that she had the character and a beautiful face to go with the package. But it was Khainga who was, indeed, the guy to beat.
Earlier in the season, he became the lone East African representative after Gakuo was eliminated. His ability to adapt to different characters of diverse backgrounds was impeccable, though he still had a problem of being his own director.
He made lots of research on characters that he ended up adding his own things to the script, which usually worked to his advantage, but also got him in trouble.
Surprisingly, though, during the show’s finale, none of the two was actually announced as the winner; instead, it was Suntele. He is a good actor, though many still thought he was the weakest link – in fact some didn’t see him making the final three.
Khainga was the viewers’ choice winner of the show as well as the contestants’ favoured one. According to the BET channel website, where the show screened, Top Actor Africa was testing the actors to the limit in nine acting challenges. They were taken through every genre, from comedy to theatre, soapie, commercial, romance, horror, drama and action.
During the show, contestants worked with Hollywood and local industry experts, including celebrity actors, casting agents, directors, producers, managers and writers.
The contestants were competing for the chance to win the title of Top Actor Africa, a career-launching prize package that included $10,000 cash, a one-year contract with an international agent and access to Hollywood auditions.
Source: The Observer