About two weeks ago, Sanaipei Tande found herself on trial for murder on Twitter, a consequence of a tweet that alluded to the ongoing trial of her TV character in Kina, the drama series which airs on Showmax and Maisha Magic Plus.
It was a hilarious moment for Kina fans and a confusing one for those who still only know Sanaipei for her music, and not as the ruthless water magnate Nana Tandala who wouldn’t think twice about killing someone who stands in her way.
Some would relish this kind of social media attention, perhaps even play into it, but Sanaipei doesn’t. With a platform as volatile as Twitter, it’s easy to see why.
“There are people who genuinely don’t know what’s going on but there are those who simply want to poke at the situation to see what kind of reaction they’re going to get,” says Sanaipei. “I’ve learnt not to react because reacting fuels conversation and more comments, be it insults or compliments.”
Even though she is keen not to put up a performance for the masses, her character, Nana, is orchestrating a performance of her own in court at the moment in what is being called the ‘trial of the year.’ From shedding a tear to wearing exaggerated outfits to staging conspiracies, there is no place that she wouldn’t go to prove her ‘innocence.’
And while Nana has always been untouchable and resourceful, especially when backed into a corner, Sanaipei agrees that this trial has tested the limits of her strength.
“For the first time, you see that she (Nana) is frustrated by the way things are going, and by the testimonies that are being given. And every day after court, she must go home and think about how she’s going to maneuver her way out of these obstacles,” Sanaipei says.
In an interview with Sanaipei in 2020 as Kina premiered, she admitted that Nana, by far, is the most challenging role she’s ever played. She reiterates so even now but these days she thinks differently of Nana. She’s learnt to grow into her character, to anticipate her actions and to accept her for who she is.
“Initially, having to embody this character (Nana) was difficult, but now I kind of already know what she is going to do even without having to take instructions from the director,” says Sanaipei. “The way a scene builds up when I read the script, I already know that the anger is going to make me want to strangle someone because that is just who Nana is.”