|Actress Maureen Koech[Photos: courtesy]|
MAUREEN KOECH, 22, an actress in KTN series Lies that Bind, took a two-year break from computers studies to concentrate on acting and music. She spoke to ROSE KWAMBOKA
Who is Patricia in Lies that Bind drama series?
She is the sweet bubbly schoolgirl who is experimental, trying to find her way in life in a drama-filled family. I love playing the character because a lot of girls at that age can identify with it.
Does it apply in your life?
Contrary to the character I portray in the series, I’m a respectable person. I try not to argue with people. I, especially, love and respect my mom and she plays a leading role in my life.
What Intrigues you about acting?
Being in someone else’s shoes and telling their story. It takes you to a world of imagination. Also, meeting celebrities whom I admire is amazing.
When did you get your big break in acting?
I heard of a major screening coming up and went for the auditions. After two months of waiting and almost giving up, I got the call — the best phone call of my life.
What was your role?
I played Shiks, a supporting role for about ten episodes, in the series, Changing Times. The experience opened me up to the world of film and helped me gain confidence and exposure.
How did it feel getting your first paycheck?
I felt liberated. Having people appreciate what you do is to say the least, quite fulfilling.
After Changing Times…
I took up a number of pilot projects. I still visited the Kenya National Theatre notice boards looking for upcoming auditions. I also networked a lot and still do.
Tell us a bit about your childhood?
I grew up in Nairobi. You can say I was a pretty normal kid. I was the tomboy of our family, never had dolls.
I was the quiet, obedient girl in primary school, but on joining high school, I became interested in arts and often got into trouble with the school administration. Within my first year at Nakuru High School, I was known as the tiny, outgoing chick from Nairobi. I like to think I was making up for lost time.
Who do you look up to in the film industry?
Lupita Nyong’o. In a short time, she has proved that there is nothing you cannot accomplish in a limited amount of time. She has set the pace for us.
What is the lowest point so far in the film industry?
Financial gains are unsatisfactory. A lot of producers take advantage and don’t own up to their promises.
How has your acting experience been so far?
It’s not easy like most would think. It’s very engaging. Art is powerful and you have to be on your ‘A’ game to convey the message in its best form.
Are you a full-time actress?
Not really. I am a BBIT (Bachelor of Business Information and Technology) student at Strathmore University. But I’m currently on a two-year academic break to concentrate on my acting. I’m also an upcoming musician.
Two-year break? Are your parents okay with that?
Initially, they wanted me to prioritise my studies. They, however, loosened up when they saw how my acting started to pay off.
What about your music?
I composed my first song three years ago. I have done a couple of demos that I took round to different producers. I’m not limiting myself to a particular genre, but I mostly do urban pop and African house.
You get heads turning. Do you have anyone in the picture?
There are more than 20 million guys in Kenya but it’s unbelievably hard dating for a myriad of reasons. I have a couple of past relationships, a couple of heartbreaks, but that’s just that.
Who is the ideal guy for you?
Someone who brings out the best in me — one who is fun and loving.