By Ken Njenga Wambui
Published November 28, 2014
Kevin Mugo wa Macharia is the lead male act in CONSIGNED TO OBLIVION, a short film revolving around a young woman who wakes up in a hotel room with bloodied hands and a dead body in her own bathroom but without an inkling of what has transpired.
That it is rare to find neo-noir mystery-psychological thrillers in Kenya makes CONSIGNED TO OBLIVION that is written, directed and produced by Mark Maina Maingi of M Green Productions of Nairobi all the more interesting.
Kevin Mugo wa Macharia who plays the role of the scheming Nick along Faith Kibathi, speaks to Ken Njenga Wambui after the screening and discussion of the film during the 81st monthly Lola Kenya Screen film forum (LKSff) at Goethe-Institut in Nairobi on November 24, 2014.
How did you realise that you had the talent to act?
I just enjoyed entertaining people, making people around me put on that smile ever since I was a small child. I remember back in 1998, when I was only 7, I performed at the wedding of one of my aunts. I just got up and started singing crazy songs and cracking up silly jokes. It was hilarious. People loved it. I loved it. I fell in love with art and nothing will stop me from pursuing acting till my dream becomes a reality.
What else do you do apart from acting?
I am currently a student at Kenyatta University where I am pursuing a Bachelor’s degree course in English and Literature. Literature is an art. And so is film and therefore you will find drama (stage), poetry and so on and so forth together. This is where I practise my writing skills and so far I have written a good number of scripts and treatments of which one has been shot into The Y Generation that premiered in 2013 at United States International University (USIU) in Nairobi.
What else can you do in film production apart from acting?
Script writing is an area that I’d look forward to working in. Just creating a story out of one’s imagination is one thing I consider to be true talent and creativity; something the audience will appreciate and fall in love with; something that will move them. I’ve directed before and the experience was amazing; truly loved it. For sure that is one role I’m thinking of doing and mastering. Acting is my passion, though. It comes from the heart. That I can become anything in this world through acting is what I love most. I become another person as an actor; I experience the pain, the pleasure and the sorrow of those characters and enjoy sharing it with the audience.
You said during the presentation of CONSIGNED TO OBLIVION that you are portrayed as a “womaniser” in many of the films you have starred in for example in Machachari and Janet Chapel ; how do you handle women in real life, especially those who think that’s what you are—a ‘bad boy’—in real life and come after you?
Ha ha ha; a womaniser? umm,well, that is a totally different personality that is not in any way related to who I am. Maybe in another world; on planet Mars, perhaps? Ha ha ha. On a serious note, I’m a-one-girl-guy. Yeah, I’m that guy. I believe in transparency and in being real. It’s a tough industry, especially for relationships. But if trust, respect and appreciation for one’s career are adhered to, then any obstacle becomes a stepping stone to something else.
What is your biggest challenge in the field of acting?
Riding towards stardom is never a smooth journey. But I am not complaining. I am working as hard as I can; through networking, auditions and always upgrading and refreshing my art profile; never giving up. Patience, Perseverance and Passion are my three key rules towards attaining my goal and in fulfilling my dreams.
What do you think is wrong with the current generation who say there is no employment while they are not utilising their creative talents in the arts like you do?
Over-dependence on the government is the problem; the ‘serikali saidia’ syndrome; come on, sir. We are in 2014. It’s high time the young folks took action by being more responsible. Let’s remain creative in whatever field we find ourselves in. We are all gifted in one way or another. Let us not sit on our talents.
Who do you consider to be your role model?
My role model is my dad. He is one great man that I look up; he works hard; he is strict but most of all, he is loving and caring.
How does your family view you as an actor?
Whenever there’s an event at home, my family ensures that my actor friends and I are invited to perform. My family appreciates what I do, especially since it is a path that not so many of them have followed. The love and support they offer me fuels my desire and urges me ahead on my journey towards acting excellence.
How did you come to know about Lola Kenya Screen?
I got to learn about Lola Kenya Screen (LKS) through an actress friend. I’m a member of the various LKS’s pages and groups on Facebook. LKS keeps me posted on the trends on the local film sector; I get to know of the various up-and-coming actors, directors, productions and so forth. LKS is helping me in networking and in marketing myself as a performer to reckon with.
Would you care to say something about your family background?
I have a humble family background. I am the first born of three boys. My immediate follower is a second year student in Karatina University pursuing a Bachelor’s degree course in Business Administration. He also models. The one who comes after him is still in primary school. With a teacher as the head of the family and a business entrepreneur as the mother, you can imagine the kind of up-bringing that the three of us are experiencing. But one thing I am certain of is that my family is such a wonderful gift from God; I couldn’t ask for anything more. It’s a blessing.