Jim Iyke lands lead role in Nairobi crime thriller

By Neema Amani, Kenyan correspondent

Producer Niel Schell, the book's author John Kiriamiti, Jim Iyke and Christopher Grey, producer Jim Iyke Unscripted. Photo: Chris Wekesa

Producer Niel Schell, the book’s author John Kiriamiti, Jim Iyke and Christopher Grey, producer Jim Iyke Unscripted. Photo: Chris Wekesa

Nigeria’s bad boy of movies, Jim Iyke will be starring in a new Kenyan crime thriller titled My Life In Crime.

Jim has been cast in the lead role as Jack Zolo, a merciless criminal.

The movie is an adaptation of three novels written by John Kiriamiti based on ‘his life as a real gangster’, according to sources who spoke with NET.

The three books are My Life In Crime, My Life With A Criminal and My Life In Prison.

Jim will be joined by a star studded Kenyan cast, including Ainea Ojiambo, Janet Kirina, Abubakar Mwenda, Melvin Alusa, Jeff Koinange, Lenana Kariba and Eddy Kimani.

The movie will be produced by Kirina Productions and Cthrough productions.

The movie’s producer Niel Schell (who cast Iyke for the role) says it took two years to come up with the complete script. The movie will begin production in September.

Schell defended his choice of Nigerian lead actor saying, ‘This makes it easy to sell it to the wider African market and beyond.’

He added, ‘I meet Jim Iyke in Uganda at a film festival and i told him about a script I have that is interesting. And within hours of getting the script he called me back and said he loved Jack Zolo. Jim will get the movie out to as many people as possible and the Kenyan actors will get wider recognition.’

Jim who is currently shooting his reality show titled Jim Iyke Unscripted said at the briefing in Nairobi, ‘I was in Uganda to do some pro bono work. Everybody knew who I was except for Niel. When he gave me the script I was excited about the role. He asked me to audition and put it on tape and send it but I flew myself in and auditioned for the role.’

The Nigerian actor defended his capacity to bring out the lead character, saying ‘I’m ready to give every stretch and attention needed to play the role. I can assure you that I’m fully aware of what I have to do. (People should focus) on what I can do. The big deal should be realizing what I have after shooting the movie.’

Meanwhile the book’s author, Kiriamiti has advised Jim to ‘stop talking like an American’ and ‘learn how to talk like me to be able to play the role well’, adding, ‘Whoever has read the book has told me they read it thrice or four times and as you know in the book I wasn’t acting I was doing it for real. I hope that translates also in the movie.’

He continued, ‘Having my book adapted into a movie is something I did not expect. This feels good…’