One would think singer/actress, Patricia Kihoro, 24, would have fallen apart after the spiteful hate campaign that ensued when she chose not to vote in popular contestant Debarl during last year’s Tusker Project Fame contest, far from it, she has emerged stronger, wiser and ready to take on the world.
By shirley genga
How long have you been you been into music?
I first decided that I wanted to be a singer, when I was ten years old after watching the DVD, All God’s Children. I sung throughout high school and my mum never missed an opportunity to get me to sing, she would even take me to weddings. Two years ago, in 2008, I heard that Nazizi was starting a reggae band called Rude Boyz and was looking for a lead singer. I auditioned and got the gig.
TPF2 was not your first competition, which other talent contests have you participated in?
I tried out for M-Net Idols and made it to the final 24. A year after and a half later. I joined the Rude Boyz Band where I learnt a lot about performing live. When the Tusker Project Fame opportunity came, I took it with both hands.
You were in the house for a total of eight weeks how was the experience?
It was crazy; there was a lot of pressure. You are living with different people from different cultures who are all very talented. You not only have to learn to live with them but also get them to understand you.
Who was your favourite housemate?
At first, it was Nina from Rwanda, we hit if off from the beginning. I was sad when she left because we understood each other so well. I later became close with Ng’ang’a and we are still friends to date.
Who was the most irritating contestant?
Everyone was irritating in one way or the other. I’m sure I also irritated people. That’s what you get when you put different people from different backgrounds and cultures under one roof. I won’t mention names, but some had the irritating habit of singing very early in the morning and at night when others were sleeping. Also some people’s habit of hiding food then forgetting about it untill it went bad was quite irritating. Everyone had their moments.
Did you have any wardrobe malfunctions on stage?
Sometimes, things would just go wrong. Once, I had to wear one of my skirts as dress, another time I had to have my dress pinned on my hair because it was too long and to make matters worse, my shoes were badly fitting, I had to perform with a stiff head, it was so hilarious. One of the greatest lessons I learnt in regard to wardrobe malfunctions is to perform as if everything is perfect and to make sure the audience never suspects a thing.
You were branded as the villain when you chose to save Ng’ang’a instead of Debarl, given a second chance, would you make the same decision?
I would not change my decision. I chose Ng’ang’a because he is not only talented but we were great pals, we talked more and hang out with each other in the house. When both Ng’ang’a and Debarl were nominated, I believed that there was no way that Kenyans would fail to save one of them. My plan was that after one of them was saved, I would proceed to save the other but in the end I was forced to pick one and I chose the person I was closest to. Contrary to what people believe, Debarl did not take my decision personally. In fact, when all the drama was going on, he reached out and told me we were good.
Did things change immediately after you chose to save Ng’ang’a instead of Debarl?
Things did not change immediately. We performed on Sunday, a day after Debarl was evicted, and the crowd was great but a week after, the hostility began. I do not know what happened in that one week but things changed. It was so bad, when I would perform part of the crowd would cheer while others would boo me and shout mean things like: "You’re a looser!"
When you were at the house did you know about the hate groups that had been formed on Facebook?
I knew nothing at all. I just assumed that those who booed were upset because I had not saved Debarl. I only found out about it during a press conference that was held on Friday, a day before the finals, when a reporter asked me about it. I was a little shocked but I didn’t think it was that serious, I later found out that it was bad.
You have acted in the M-Net soap Changes, how did you get into acting?
Before working in Changes, I did theatre and acted in a number of musicals from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor to Malaika. Just like singing, I always knew I wanted to be an actress, so when the opportunity arose, I auditioned and got the part in Changes.
So what have you got planned next?
I’m working on my album and it will be out soon. I’m thankful to Joseph Hellon and Aaron Rumbui for taking me under their wings; I also love photography and want to try my hand at it. I will also be acting in Changes season 2.
You have said that one of your mentors was Hellon, were you ever a member of the Finger of God church?
Yes, Hellon was one of my mentors and I cannot deny that he helped me grow musically; we parted ways last year in December due to some differences. When we visited his house or Aaron Rumbui’s place it was all about music, and nothing about the church. I was raised Catholic and have never left my religion.
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