By Shirley Genga
Pulse: What have you been up to since you left Tahidi High in 2011?
Sarah: I have been here and there; I acted in the second and third seasons of Changes, as Liza, I played Lora in Saints, I also played Camilla in Demigods. Additionally I got to host the 2011 season of Sakata, I am now the host of MNET’S Mashariki Mix, plus I am also in a new television series, and will soon be on radio.
P: You seem to be crossing over from one media medium to another, what was it like moving from acting to hosting a television show?
S: After Tahidi high came to an end, I got the chance to host Sakata at the end of 2011, and it was a good experience, but nothing could have prepared me for Mashariki Mix— not even my acting experience. It was a whole different ball game; Sakata was a hyped-up dance show, but Mashariki Mix is a lifestyle show that covers the whole of East Africa, we do everything from events to profiling. It is a more presenter driven show, and so when you go to the ground to cover an event you do your own links and thus you have to have the personality that will carry you through. We also learn about production, and so I have grown so much just doing the show.
P: Was it a conscious decision not to do any acting in 2012, or was it a case of lack of opportunities?
S: In 2012 I decided that I was not going to settle for just any role. I wanted to act in something that I was passionate about, that would not only challenge me but also help me grow as an actress. It was hard not acting for a whole year, even though I was hosting Mashariki Mix, it almost felt like I was walking around with a hole in my heart. This year however Dorothy Ghettuba approached me with a role in the new series Jane and Abel and I loved it .I have worked with Dorothy before on Saints and she is a great creator.
P: Many actors and actresses struggle with being type cast; do you face the same challenge?
S: I feel blessed because I have had the opportunity to play so many different and diverse characters in my acting career. Tanya in Tahidi High was the “good girl”, Lora in Saints was a confused and compassionate nurse who got emotionally involved with patients, Camilla in Demigods was a girl who had been sexually abused by her father and had run away from home and Liza in Changes was a very fun role, I got to play a call girl who was very outspoken.
P: Looking at most of the people you worked with, many were not able to keep up the momentum after leaving Tahidi High, what is your secret?
S: It was a lot of hard work, networking and realising that you are a brand. That means being able to turn down roles that will not grow my brand. I will always be grateful for the role I played as Tanya in Tahidi high, it opened the door for me and I have not looked back. It was a bit scary at first because you can never be too sure if you will get another acting job, but I am glad that I was firm and strategic, and it is now paying off.
P: You seem to have so many projects in the pipeline, how are you managing?
S: I am very busy; when I am not shooting Mashariki, I am shooting Jane and Abel, and we shoot from six in the evening all the way to seven the next morning, then I have meetings during the day, and most of the weekends we are travelling all over East Africa for events. Last weekend was very busy, on Friday during the day I was doing recordings for a radio show, and then from six in the evening to seven in the morning we were shooting the new series- Jane and Abel. I did not even have time to go home, and Saturday morning found me on the set shooting a Mashariki segment. It gets crazy sometimes, but I love every moment.
P: Tell us about your new radio job?
S: I cannot say much, all I will say however is that something is in the pipeline.
P: You graduated a while back, what of that Actuarial Science degree?
S: I cleared campus back in 2011 and since then I have not had a chance to do a nine-to-five job, which is in line with my degree in Actuarial Science. I interned at Kenya Re and the hours were flexible, but after clearing I had so many new projects. I will always be a math geek but I do not know if the nine-to-five thing is for me. However I will find a way to use my degree one day.
P: You have on many occasions been romantically linked to Daddy Owen but you have neither denied nor confirmed it, so is it true are you two a couple?
S: Why do people always ask me that? We are not dating; he is simply a good friend of mine.
P: So are you dating? And who is your ideal man?
S: No I am not dating. A man who is hardworking, humble and a gentleman, they seem to be extinct or something!
P: You always look so fabulous, what is your secret?
S: I have just reached that stage in my life where I know my body and know how to dress it in a manner that best compliments it.
P: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
S: Doing the things that I love; I hope to still be acting, hosting, emceeing and to successfully branch into radio.