JANET KIRINA, 26, was a musician, went into acting then got back into music after a major heartbreak. She spoke to SHIRLEY GENGA
You won the Kalasha Awards for?best female actress in 2009 and since then, you have been on the downlow; what have you been up to?
I have not gone underground. I have just not been on the TV screen for a year or more. I have reached the point where I know what I am looking for. I did not want to settle for just any role. I wanted a role that was different. I have been working on a number of projects including my music career and also training in production.
What did winning the award do for your career?
An award means a lot; it is like getting your degree or diploma. It not only means that people appreciate my work, but it also gives you an edge — you get better roles.
How did you get into the entertainment world?
I have been in the industry for about six years. I got into theatre accidentally after finishing high school. It was that period when I was idle and waiting for my high school results. Someone suggested that I go to the Kenya National Theatre for auditions. I did and got the role of Jessica in The Merchant of Venice. The rest is history. After that, I got the chance to act in Benta, Makutano Junction, Higher Learning and Block D. I also got to produce the film All Girls Together. In 2010, I acted in the film Kafuru, it is still in post-production.
Did you stop acting on stage after making a breakthrough on the screen?
I did not act in a play for five years but last year, I acted in the play Disturbia. I was a little scared to get back on stage but I enjoyed the experience. So, I have not closed that door — if I get an opportunity and I like the script.
The local entertainment industry is changing. Singers are branching into movies but you are branching from film into music, tell us about that…