Robert Burale: I was once addicted to strip clubs before giving my life to Christ : Evewoman - The Standard
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Robert Burale: I was once addicted to strip clubs before giving my life to Christ

Robert BuraleYou have been known to give blunt dating advice …

What I always tell people is please do not try too hard to be perfect; we are imperfect beings. If you try too hard to make everything go perfectly, you will fail. I was at a restaurant once, and I saw a young man who was so nervous, he picked up the saltshaker and licked it, without knowing. I doubt whether the woman ever picked up his call after that.

Do not go to a place that is too expensive just to impress a woman. Always let the lady order first; this way, if she orders a meal worth Sh950, and you only have Sh1,000, you can drink a soda and say you ate earlier.

What is it about people looking bad that turn you off?

There is nothing worse in this world than getting your image wrong... like the short men I see in town strutting around in pin-stripped suits. It makes me think this man cannot possibly be a deep thinker. Or a woman who wears a short tight skirt that she has to constantly pull down. Goodness! Another one of my pet peeves is a man who keeps his small fingernail long. If that is you, please go to your bedroom and cut it off right now! 

Aren’t you being a little hard on people who cannot afford good clothes?

You do not need to be rich to dress right. The smartest people in town live in Eastlands; they have found ways to combine their outfits fabulously with minimal finances.

Give us a few no-no social stunts …

If you are a woman who is notorious for walking with toothpicks in your mouth, please stop. It is a  great turn off. And as for the men, please shake well after using the bathroom. There is nothing worse than walking back to your desk with a spot on your trousers.

Have you always got it this right, when it comes to body image?

No, I was a mess at some point in life. I was always sharply dressed on the outside but on the inside I was a mess. My life was in chaos. Around 2007, I partied continuously, dated several women and I was addicted to strip clubs. I incurred heavy debts because of this addiction. I came to the end of myself in 2008 — I had so many problems and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I decided to give my life to Christ.

What was happening in your life that triggered you to sink that low?

You see, I joined the wrong company while studying in the UK and that is how I started going to strip clubs and drinking.

After completing my studies, I came back home and continued with my evil ways. But thank God I got saved in the nick of time.

 

What was your turning point moment?

One day, I was driving my car and I saw something like a vision where God was speaking to me. It was scary. It felt like God was telling me to change my ways and turn to Him. I was so scared and confused I went to a pastor on Ngong’ Road and explained to him what happened. He led me to Christ. It was not easy changing my old ways as I still had a bit of the old man trying to come forth again. Though I am a changed man, now one of the greatest challenges I have faced is that some people still look at me with the eyes of the past.  It is, especially difficult because I am a public figure. I keep my eyes on God.

Tell us more about that.

Many people are living lies, especially the so-called celebrities. That is why they are living lives beyond their means. That is why some of them are always broke. I have started a movement called the Naked Truth, where we just get real about who we are and resolve to make the change.

Away from that, how do you juggle all your professions within a day’s schedule?

I am extremely passionate about everything I do. I manage to do it all effortlessly. I am lucky because I get well paid for all my engagements. I always say my mouth has provided for me, quite literally.

How do you start your day?

 I wake up at 5am to pray and plan my day, after which I host an event in the morning hours. I then head off to a school or organisation to give a motivational talk. If I have free time, I dedicate to acting.

What movies and television shows have you been in?

I am shooting a Kenyan movie that will air on Mnet. One of my greatest achievements as an actor was shooting a film titled Shattered with Nigerian actress Rita Dominic, two years ago. I also did quite a bit of acting when I was a student in the UK. I appeared in two movies: Devil’s Own and Preacher’s Servant.

What have been some of the highlights of your life?

Acting with Rita Dominic, of course. The first time I stood up to preach on a pulpit will forever be ingrained in my memory. Getting married, over a year ago, was a great transition for me.

The birth of my nine-year-old daughter Lexie, is also another great highlight of my life.

If you could trade places with any one person for a week, who would it be?

Pastor David Mureithi of House of Grace. I admire him deeply. He is a man who loves God genuinely and does not compromise on excellence in any area of his life.

What was your childhood like?

I was born and brought up in Karen, in a stable family. I went to Musa Gitau Primary School and later Bungoma High School, where my acting talent was nurtured. I then went to the UK for my undergraduate studies at De Mont Forte University, where I studied business and marketing.

How do you unwind?

I preach to myself; it really motivates me. I also watch films a lot.

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