Actor | Writer | Events Curator | Retired Acting Coach
Hi, my name is Gathoni Mutua, and I am an actor, writer, events curator, and retired acting coach. My journey in the entertainment industry has been a challenging but rewarding one. After graduating from Azusa Pacific University in California on scholarship and donations, I moved to Hollywood to pursue my dream of becoming a professional actor. It was a tough year, living in a rundown apartment with two flatmates and working as a crew member or background actor on several globally renowned films and TV shows. But it was also a year that taught me so much about the industry and myself, and it helped shape me into the creative professional that I am today. When my visa expired, I moved back to Nairobi, Kenya, eager to put my newfound knowledge and skills to use. But I quickly realized that building a career in the entertainment industry in Kenya would require a different approach. With no networks to rely on, I decided to take on teaching to make ends meet while I waited for my big break. It was a long wait - it took me five years to land my first lead role - but I persisted.
Today, I am proud to say that I have built a reputation and a name for myself in the Kenyan entertainment industry. I have been a lead in three highly rated TV series, directed a musical at Starehe Boys, been cast in online and live theatre productions over COVID, assistant directed various commercials and series, and taught hundreds of people across Nairobi. I was even nominated for the Kalasha Award's Best Lead Actress in a TV Drama in 2022 for my role as Sintamei Sendeu in Single Kiasi. As my current hit show Single Kiasi continues to mesmerize fans, I am excited to explore other areas of storytelling, such as music, writing, and events. I know that the road ahead won't be easy, but I am ready for whatever challenges come my way in 2023 and beyond.
What were the biggest initial hurdles you faced and how did you overcome them?
As an actor, writer, events curator, and retired acting coach, I faced several initial hurdles in my career. After moving from the US to Kenya, I had to build a reputation and network from scratch in an industry that primarily relies on connections. It took me five years to establish myself in the industry, and during that time, I worked odd jobs to make ends meet while building my resume and reputation. However, my persistence and hard work eventually paid off, and I became a lead in three highly rated TV series in Kenya, directed a musical, and was nominated for Best Lead Actress in a TV Drama at the Kalasha Awards. I continue to expand my expertise and hone my skills while pursuing my passions in storytelling.
What advice do you have for young people locally and internationally who are just starting out in their careers or pursuing their passions?
As an actor, writer, events curator, and retired acting coach, my advice to young people locally and internationally who are just starting out in their careers or pursuing their passions is to be patient and persistent. I know from personal experience that success does not come overnight and that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to achieve one's goals.
Additionally, I encourage young people to be open to learning and to embrace opportunities, even if they don't seem glamorous or ideal at first. It's important to remember that every experience is a chance to learn something new and build skills that will help you succeed in the future.
Finally, I advise young people to network and build relationships. Connections can be essential in opening doors and creating opportunities in your career. Attend industry events, reach out to people you admire, and make a genuine effort to get to know others in your field. Remember that relationships are built on mutual respect and trust, so always be kind and professional in your interactions.
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