The likes of Eddie Gathegi and and Lupita Nyong'o have done well to represent Kenya in Hollywood.

However, there have been luminaries along the way who hacked through the bush to create a path for scores that have come behind them....
Here are a few of those legends
Let's begin with Peter Lukoye who most us only know as Mzee Tamaa bin Tamaa of Vioja Mahakamani.

The gifted actor who passed away in 2004 starred in Born Free in 1966 and Living Free in 1972
Before the Last King of Scotland, there was Rise and Fall of Idi Amin in 1981 starring Joseph Olita

TBH, Joseph made a better Amin look-alike than a shoe-polished Forest Whitaker could ever hope to be.

Olita also had roles in Denzel's Mississippi Masala ('91)& Sheena ('84)
Then there's Paul Onsongo, a man that plays his parts with the kind of passion that associated with true masters of the trade

Onsongo's filmography includes Mountains of the Moon '90, Flame Trees of Thika '81 Kitchen Toto '87 & Cheetah '89 which also starred Waigwa Wachira.
Sidede Onyulo had some serious roles in a number of movies before his passing in 2008. These include Eyes of a Witness, Nowhere in Africa, King Solomon's Mines and The Constant Gardener

Born in 1955, Onyulo quit his law practice and decided to embrace theatre in 1979.
Alongside Sidede in The Constant Gardener was John Sibi-Okumu, a journalist and prolific actor, who was first to interview President Daniel arap Moi.

Sibi-Okumu has also starred in Shake Hands with the Devil, The First Grader and Transit
Oliver Litondo is yet another prolific actor who played the part of Kimani Maruge in The First Grader.

Litondo was in Sheena with Onsongo, and also starred in The Search for the Nile, Ivory Hunters, Unforgettable and Country Queen.
This list would not be complete without Kenyan writer, academic, theatre director and actor, David Mulwa

He starred in To Walk with Lions
Edwin Mahinda had quite a run in the late eighties starring in The Kitchen Toto, The Lion of Africa and White Mischief all within a 2-year span.
Also in the movie Kitchen Toto was Ayub Ogada who evolved from acting to producing movie soundtracks for the likes of To Walk with Lions and Buffalo soldier
I first saw Karara Muhoro in Collin Farrell's phone booth acting as a vendor unleashing a stream of Kiswahili after his toy robot gets shot to pieces.

He's also starred in Congo, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Resident Evil 5.
Raymond Ofula made his movie debut in To Walk with Lions, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in 2003 and has since starred in Jacob's Cross, The Boy who Harnessed the Wind, Queen Sono and Makutano Joint.
Fred Opondo starred alongside Raymond Ofula in To Walk with Lions and David Mulwa in Eye of a Witness
Also starring in To Walk with Lions was Caroline Kere whose screen time in the movie though limited, was nevertheless quite memorable
Film Director Anne Mungai's full length feature film made history in 2002 featuring an all Kenyan cast including Regina Macharia, Eric Babu, Anthony Njuguna and Esther Muthee as Saikati.
Benjamin Ochieng appears in one of my favourite movies, Tears of the Sun as well as in God's Not Dead and Beautifully Broken
Then there's Charles Gitonga Maina who starred in The Air Up There alongside Kevin Bacon in 1994

You should certainly read his story here...
The earliest recorded appearance of a Kenyan in a movie must have been Jomo Kenyatta in the 1935 movie Sanders of the River. The future president plays an extra for a total of 6 minutes in the movie

3rd from the right below
Others include:
-Tonny Njuguna: To Walk with Lions
-Packson Ngugi & Bernard Otieno: The Constant Gardener
-Ann Wanjuga & Job Seda in Kitchen Toto
-Joseph Thiaka & S. Kinyanjui in Out of Africa

Do please let me know who else I may have inadvertently left out.
I stand corrected on the earliest appearance by a Kenyan actor in a Hollywood production

That honour (as it should) goes to
1. Mutia Omoolu born in 1890 in Machakos
2. Riano Tindama born in 1899 in Machakos

Both starring in Trader Horn released in 1931.
Lenny Juma is a veteran actor and casting director who got into professional acting in 1971 and is known for Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003), The Constant Gardener (2005) and Arthur and the Invisibles (2006).
Bill Kipsang Rotich, born in 1958, voiced the character Nien Nunb in the Star Wars Trilogy by speaking in Haya, an African dialect from Kenya.

His job as a voice-over actor in 1981-1984 made him a local celebrity in Kenya back in the 80s.
Kiran Shah was born in Nairobi in 1956. He lived in Kenya until he was 12, when he moved to India with his family.

He's an accomplished actor and stuntsman and has starred in Star Wars, Sherlock Holmes, Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, Raiders of the Lost Ark etc...
Born Salim Abdallah Salim in Mombasa in 1941, renowned soul musician Sal Davis had a small role as "Shafiq" in the 1968 movie The Syndicate, shot in Kenya

New Florida Night Club (Madhouse) was originally The Sal Davis Night Spot in 1967
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