So one day I was in a matatu going to pay my power bill at electricity house, Nairobi. Back then you had to queue up and pay physically. I was in a hurry lest my old man came back and found that I hadn’t accomplished that one ‘simple’ task. He had known my sister and I for always spending the whole day practicing dance moves (how I still have two left legs, I don’t understand).
Hidden behind your fears: Your acting role lies on the other side
So am in the matatu, the latest ng’anya za umo back then. I then see a man, Godfrey Odhiambo,
holding a lot of papers, flipping through them. Beside him is another lady, Veronica Mwaura, constantly on phone. Curiosity gets the better part of me, and my nosey self doesn’t give me peace.
I take a peep at the papers and realize it’s some kind of script. So I decide to ask if they are actors, they say yes. I request to join them; reluctantly they tell me to follow them to the national theatre.
I rush off to pay the power bill then promptly made my way to the theatre. Apparently, and in a rare occurrence of coincidence, they were doing auditions that day. I landed a role with the travelling theatre. That’s where my journey as a professional actor begun.
Failure is one level up, towards your success… Push on!
During rehearsals, I got fired and re hired almost weekly. Fellow actors said that I was a ‘stone’… That I couldn’t get simple directions. Probably implying that I sucked at acting and I would never learn. I kept showing up, I kept trying, I kept pushing.
One day our director, Cindy Ogana, brought a radio personality to help us with acting and to critique. The man told me, in the presence of everyone else, that I would never be an actor… That I was pathetic… and that I should try farming or something else. To be honest, he killed my spirit that day. Stabbed me right through my heart. Cindy Ogana called me aside and told me that, in all this the most important person to me was ME, and that I should follow my dreams no matter what people say. She breathed a new life into my dreams, and I vowed never to give up. What worked for me was the undying spirit to learn.
Sharpen your trade: hang out with guys that build your skill
I kept learning with the help of people before me in the industry like Ainea Ojiambo, Lizz Njagah, Derrick Asseto, Lenny Juma, Dorothy Ghettuba, Ndanu Kilonzo et. al.
But I need you to know that God brought me this far. Without Him am nothing.
To everyone out there, never give up. Keep going…keep on keeping on.