Shaniqwa, the Kenyan Socialite, Unveiled: Who Really is This Diva?


Whether you call her Shanikwa or Shaniqwa (the correct “official” name), one thing remains true: Shaniqwa has got real talent. Known for her trademark no-nonsense attitude, the sassy diva has made her mark in the entertainment industry and her star is ever more shining.

Who is Shaniqua?

Before we go any further it is in order to clarify that we are not talking about the retired American wrestler, Shaniqua, but rather the Kenyan comedian who appears in KTN parody, Jameni. She has lately also been featuring frequently in KTN morning show, Life & Style.

Shaniqua describes herself jokingly as the richest socialite in Kenya, adorning the most expensive clothing and jewelry, “in Tanzanian shillings”.

Is Shaniqwa A Man, Woman, or Transgender?

A question is often asked, “Is Shaniqwa a man or a woman?” Well, if you are still not acquainted, Shanikwa, whose real name is Kelvin Mwangi, is actually a man. Yes, Shaniqwa is a woman. Judging from Shanikwa’s photos, or even videos, though one can hardly guess that and there is a good reason for that. She plays her role as a woman so well that her director thinks it is the best ever “she” could have ever played.

“I had no idea I could play a woman’s character so well until my director insisted that I could act better as a woman than as a man,” he is quoted saying to The Daily Nation.

Is Shaniqwa Straight or Gay?

The social media is never forgiving. In fact, it can be rather harsh at times. Some Kenyans have taken to social media to question Shaniqwa’s gender orientation given her “just perfect” feminine appeal on Jameni. Shaniqwa is also alleged to show up in most parties with her trademark weaves and ladies clothes..

In an interview with The Daily Nation, Shaniqwa addressed the allegations that he is gay or transgender saying, “I am a guy…I am just an actor. If you see someone acting as a thief on TV, it doesn’t mean that he is a thief.”

“I’m just acting. I am not transgender, I am not gay,” he added.

Perhaps true to this claim, Shaniqwa was once caught on camera kissing Mombasa-based socialite, Stella Charles

Shaniqwa kissing Stella Charles.
Shaniqwa kissing Stella Charles. Image Courtesy:

One American-based Jazz trumpeter by the name Owuor Arunga, however, swears that he could still bang “her” regardless of her gender.

“I know [she is a dude]…but she is pretty though,” Arunga said to Ghafla.

The Growth of Shaniqwa

Kelvin Mwangi’s acting career kicked off in 2009 when he took a set books role – in theater – with Mabingwa Players. He was to later bag other roles in KTN’s “Mheshimiwa” and NTV’s “Comedy Club”. The real aha moment, however, came in November 2014 when he successfully auditioned for the role of “Shaniqwa” in Jameni.

Since then, Shaniqwa has become a household name, with the trademark phrase “Nitakuchiinja…Nitaku-murder” being inseparable from her. Numerous TV shows have have featured “her” including The Trend and Churchill Show.

For his side hustle, Kelvin Mwangi is an MC, going by the name MC Kevatin.

What do you think we left out about Shaniqwa, the Jameni diva – or the top Kenyan socialite if you like? Please drop us a comment and let us know.

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