How much does Showbiz pay in Kenya?

Do you have an acting talent? Are you an upcoming artist? Do you love cameras and the showroom? If you are planning to pursue your passions as a job, then you need to know what it pays in Kenya.

As an actor, after curtains come down, and you have done a terrific performance, you would hope that your compensation should reflect your sweat.


Let’s start with TV. You no doubt have seen shows like ‘Tahidi High’ and ‘Inspector Mwala’. If you want to do such kind of thing, you can expect Ksh. 10,000 as a newcomer. A-list television actors with leading roles (like Mwala), on the other hand, take home up to Sh25,000 per episode. Supporting cast members make between Sh 10,000 and Sh 15,000, while extras with lines get around Sh 7,000 to Sh 10,000. Extras without lines get Sh 2,000 and, on a good day, Sh 5,000.

The people behind the scenes of Television production include:

Television Cameramen: The flat rate for freelance television cameramen is usually Sh10,000. But the experienced ones can earn up to Sh20,000. Film cameramen, just like those in TV, earn about Sh10,000 a day and this could go up depending on one’s experience in the business. Television

Scriptwriter: Depending on the duration of a show, seasoned scriptwriters can make up to Sh30,000 per episode for a 22-minute show, and not less than Sh50,000 for a 45-minute program. Television

Director: He or she is paid about the same amount as a television scriptwriter, which is Sh30,000. The fee also depends on the duration of the episode.

Television Producer: Is in charge of the project and, most of the time, does not earn a salary. He gets paid only if the program makes a profit. If it doesn’t, then his bills do not get paid.

nick mutuma.jpg

Nick Mutuma – one of the top film actors in Kenya

For film actors, things are different. If you hope to act in films such as “Nairobi Half Life”, you can expect to earn about Sh 100,000 (per movie) as a lead actor. Actors with significant supporting roles are paid about Sh 70,000 per movie. Since there are many supporting cast members in a movie, those with lines make Sh 15,000 and those without take home Sh 2,000.

A video producer trying to make a name for themselves usually do it for free, or charge between Sh10,000 and Sh50,000. Experienced video producers charge between Sh150,000 and Sh200,000, and that is just the production fee. If you take into consideration all the logistics, it might come to half a million shillings. Anything extra, like models, come out of the artiste’s pockets.

Here are other showbiz careers and what they will earn you:


Resident deejays of relatively well-known clubs get paid between Sh30,000 and Sh40,000 a week. Those in high-end clubs make about Sh45,000 a night. Newcomers or those who play in local clubs take home about Sh10,000. The fee for experienced and popular deejays is about Sh70,000 a night for one-off gigs and could go up if it is an out-of-town show.


Very popular bands do not take less than a million shillings for a major client, while a single entity could pocket about Sh500,000. B and C-list artistes make between Sh150,000 and Sh200,000.


Top comedians pockets around Sh350,000 at major gigs probably sponsored by big corporates. Relatively popular comedians do no fare as well, but can earn Sh150,000.

Social media influencers

These are people like Xtian Dela and Robert Alai. Depending on the number of followers one has, a “bigwig” influencer could make anything from Sh5,000 to Sh10,000 a day just to send out a couple of tweets or Facebook posts. Those with lesser followers can earn Sh5,000 a week. Those with serious clout, for example, charge up to Sh50,000 to post and promote stuff on their Instagram accounts.

Well, there you have it. You can see that you can really make a living out of your talent. So go ahead and work on it, you have a bright future.

A lot of these quotes were researched from a Daily Nation article.

About Author

Daniel is the Founder and Captain at Hashtag Media. He is an alumnus of the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy-League university in Philadelphia, USA, where he graduated with honors in Economics.

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