Farah Esmail, one of the new faces in The Real Housewives of Nairobi (RHON) S2, which premieres on Showmax on 10 May, describes herself as a body-building queen and a pioneer. When she started her body-building journey 10 years ago, she was one of only two women in the country doing the sport.

“It’s grown to about twenty women now,” Farah says. “I’m probably the only person in Kenya who’s won the national championship – Miss Kenya Bikini Fitness – three times in a row. Now, I compete internationally. I’m also a judge for local body-building shows, and I’m looking forward to growing the sport in the country.”

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She’s also an impact entrepreneur and a corporate lawyer – she’s been advising at a senior leadership level for more than 15 years.

In the interview below, Farah shares more about joining RHON S2 and what to expect from her.

Why did you want to join The Real Housewives of Nairobi?

I wanted to show that in Nairobi, and in Kenya, there are many different types of women. I’m an alternate to the regular lifestyle. I’m self-built, and I have multiple layers. 

I’m a corporate lawyer and an entrepreneur, but I’m also a competitive body-building athlete, and I really want to show that lifestyle. I believe my purpose is to shine and inspire, and The Real Housewives of Nairobi is a platform for me to do it.

You describe yourself as a body-building queen. Tell us more about that.

I am a pioneer in women’s body-building in Kenya. I started very early on, when there weren’t many women competing in the sport, and for me, it’s actually about fixing crowns, bringing people up and bringing other women along. 

I’m always the one resolving all the disputes; you’ll see that in the show. I’m Switzerland!

Being a peacemaker – is this because of your background in advocacy?

It’s a very natural aspect of my personality. As a lawyer, and even from my university days, I’ve handled dispute resolution. 

My birth sign is Taurus, but I’m actually a rising Libra, and Libras are about balance and justice. So, it’s part of my training as a lawyer and my personality. You’ll see on the show that I’m always all about collaboration and not breaking people down, and that’s what I believe in.

How was the whole experience filming the show?

It was an excellent opportunity for growth that allowed me to step outside my comfort zone. I think this idea of putting a group of women together and seeing how they hash it out when it wouldn’t probably be a natural place for all to be together is quite interesting. 

It was also interesting to learn about myself, how I operate in conflicts, and what I do when glasses are thrown at me.

How was it interacting with the other Housewives?

I come from a very male-dominated work environment because of my background as a corporate lawyer and also working in security. The dynamics are very different when you are with a group of women. 

Like any relationship, over time, it grows, and I must say, when we got to spend more time with each other, especially on vacation, I actually missed the ladies by the time we were coming home. When you build relationships, you get to know people, understand them, like them, and enjoy spending time with them.

Did you watch The Real Housewives of Nairobi S1, and what did you think of it?

I appeared in episode 1 of Season 1, so I watched it, of course. I think it’s important for us in Kenya to showcase Kenya, and what I liked about it is that we made it on Showmax.

 I was excited to see the places I go to on screen. I know three of the Housewives from Season 1 quite well, and it was nice to see them and their interactions on screen. The production was great, and it did what the show needed to do – we got some drama. No glasses were flying, but there’s always Season 2.

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