Former local star makes his mark in Bollywood

Saturday February 27 2016

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It is a matter of pride for the Kenyan Asian theatre and music fraternity that one of our own is making his presence felt in Bollywood.

Yogendra Tikku, a multi-talented personality recently appeared in an award winning movie Queen playing against celebrated actress Kangana Ranaut. Last week movie goers in Kenya were pleasantly amazed to see him again in the thriller Neerja, appearing as the

lead lady Sonam Kapoor’s father and pitched against none other than Shabana Azmi.

Tikku, born in India, lived and worked in Nairobi for more than a decade in the 90s. Kenyan theatre goers remember his roles in the theatrical productions staged by the leading Asian theatre group Natak.

His performances in the lead role of Ranjha in the love legend of star crossed lovers Heer Ranjha and an exquisite impersonation of the Aunty in Chachi O Chachi ( an adaptation of the comedy Charlie’s Aunt), set him apart. His appearances in the Phoenix

Players’ The Taming of the Shrew and Moon on a Rainbow Shawl were epic.

He returned to India to become a professional stage actor and later did TV serials. Some of the very successful movies he has featured in are No One Killed Jessica, Dabang 2, Bajate Raho, Queen and Ankhon Dekhi. We hope to see him soon in an upcoming

feature film FAN.

His latest film Neerja, currently showing in our cinemas, revolves around the life of Neerja Bhanot, a senior purser on the ill-fated Pan Am flight from Mumbai to US. Bhanotthwarts a hijack attempt by Libya’s Abu Nidal organisation and in the course of trying to

save passengers is shot dead by the terrorists. Bhanot was recognised globally as “the heroine of the hijack” and posthumously became the youngest recipient of Ashok Chakra Award, India’s most prestigious award. Shabana Azmi and Tikku  play the bereaved

parents of Bhanot.

I have personally directed and acted with Tikku in a number of local productions and found him to be very passionate, dedicated and a sensitive actor.

I join all other members of the Kenyan Asian theatre and music fraternity to wish him greater success.