By Iminza Keboge
Published August 13, 2016
Eunice ‘Freezzer’ Ayuma is a budding Kenyan actress who starres in CLICHE, a short family drama directed by Firul Maithya that is scheduled for screening and discussion during the 95th monthly Lola Kenya Screen film forum (LKSff), Nairobi’s premier critical movie platform, at Goethe-Institut on August 29, 2016.
Please introduce yourself
My name is Eunice Ayuma but close friends call me Freezzer, the nickname I acquired from friends back in secondary school.
Please describe how and where your acting journey began.
I am an actress, commercial model and voice over artist. I started my acting career in 2012 when I appeared in Malimwengu na Lolani Kalu, a Kiswahili news segment on NTV. Other notable projects I have been involved in include WRATH, SAGE, and CLICHE.
Please describe your experience with CLICHE
My experience in the making of cliche the film was exciting. Working with people whose work I admired and meeting new people was a great experience for me. When I first read the script of the film, I knew this was a story I would want to tell. The writer’s style of telling it is out of this world.
Have you received any formal training in acting?
Yes, I have received acting training from Neil Schell, a director and acting coach from Canada and Patience Ozokwor, an award-winning actress from Nigeria.
Where were you born?
I was born and raised in Nairobi where I also attended Our Lady of Mercy Primary School in Shaurimoyo and Huruma Girls High School in Makadara.
What else have you studied after secondary school?
In 2015 I was among the lucky few that got the opportunity to study Intellectual Property Law, an online course from Harvard School of Law that was organised by Kenya Law, an organisation based in Upper Hill area in Nairobi.
What are your dislikes?
Negative energy and people who speak ill of others.
Any ‘favourite’ movies, songs or actors you’d care to name?
Favourite Movie: A LAW ABIDING CITIZEN starring Gerald Butler, VEVE, EYE IN THE SKY
Favourite TV Series: THE WIRE, NARCOS, LIES THAT BIND, SENSE 8, SUITS
Favourite Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, Miguel Angel Silvestre, Jason Statham
Favourite Actress: Adesua Etomi, the Nollywood actress whose performance in the movie, FALLING, earned her the Female of the Year prize in the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) in 2016.
Favourite Song: Confidence by Demi Lovato. I see a reflection of me in the song, Confidence. Demi Lovato songs speak to me.
Do you have any dreams, wishes or prayers?
My dream is to tell a countless number of stories that will both influence viewers positively and keep them entertained. Every time I speak to my creator I always ask for wisdom and good health.
How about any short term ‘concrete’ plans; do you have any?
Every time an idea comes in mind I always put it down on paper. I never leave a pen and paper when I go out. My biggest plan is to hone my skills whenever I get an opportunity to do so.
From whom or what do you draw your inspiration?
My mum. Mama is my best friend. We talk everything from my mistakes to all plans. She’s is the last to go to bed and the very first person up in the morning, focused on making things moving in her 30-year-plus business.
Do you have any person you can refer to as your mentor?
Dorothy Ghettuba of Spielworks Media. She is full of wisdom that she is always willing to share. She brings out the best in me.
What difficulties and successes have you faced so far in your work on screen?
The biggest challenge I’ve experienced is booking a role. This sector is packed with talented actors and new ones are coming in all the time as can be seen during audition sessions. I keep track on my personal growth and always reward myself every time I make a step forward. That I have managed to put my work under one roof is so far my greatest achievement. When my eayuma.com website was born I knew the impossible is possible; I learnt the value of using what you have where you are instead of giving excuses.
What does your family think of your acting career?
My family has always been supportive though I had to keep explaining to my parents what I do for a whole year. They listen to my ideas and support me all the way. They are my biggest cheerleaders.
What are your hobbies?
When I am not onset or working, I am with friends at Imax cinema watching movies, at home cooking random meals, out with my girls tasting dishes from new restaurants, enjoying my ‘me time’ reading journals, listening to loud music or following my favourite television series. I enjoy spending time with family. Being the last born, I happen to have many niece and nephews. I must admit my role as an aunt is so well played out. My people can’t get enough of my pilau rice dish.
Last born . . .
Yes, from a family of five; a brother and three sisters. I have the advantage of learning from the wise people that came before me. I am very shy.. I don’t know where the confidence comes from when I speak in public.
Any other talents that you have but are yet to be publicly recognised?
I sing so well in the bathroom or when I am overwhelmed. I am yet to get the courage to sing in public. I also enjoy walking, I remember back in primary school I represented the school in a 5000m walking race, I managed to go to the next level. I have even started a blog called Evening Walk With Eunice Ayuma.
Are you a member of any youth group?
Yes. My church has several groups that are assigned various roles. I belong to the drama group that creates plays to entertain guests during special occasions. People refer to me as msanii (artist in Kiswahili) in church.
Describe your typical day.
My Monday-Friday day starts at 4:30 AM when I whisper a prayer and go online to update my status, check on friends, return e-mails, chat on whatsApp and any other social App. I then work till 6:00 PM when I go to various creative hubs in Nairobi: Alliance Francaise, Pawa254, Goethe-Institut, Creative’s Hub, iHub, just to mention but a few. There I get to learn, re-learn and learn again. By the time I’m done it’s 10:00 PM. Back home, I take supper, check mail and texts, return calls and ‘it’s a wrap’. Weekends are mostly set aside for auditions, family and friends.
Being in a career that attracts as much public attention as acting must have cast you in the spotlight; are you receiving any ‘marriage proposals’ from admirers?
Ha ha ha, yes, numerous. Not everyone has the courage to follow through, though. But we end up being friends. Some just go away.
How would you describe your ‘Ideal man’?
It is he that possesses enough courage and confidence with which to approach me.