We have known actor Raymond Ofula for his roles in international films like Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003) and To Walk with Lions (1999). Locally, he has been a TV favourite on various drama series including Better Days, Nairobi Law and Makutano Junction. Vivianne Wandera sits down for a chat with him
How did you get into acting and for how many years have you been an actor?
I got into it as a hobby from early adulthood. I was first cast in 1973 in a play called The Queen and The Rebels by the late James Falkland, who was then Director of Kenya National Theatre.
How many films have you featured in to date?
I have featured in seven international films and several local films, not to mention many TV appearances.
How has your acting journey been? Is this what you wanted to do all your life or did it just happen by chance?
My acting journey has been a labour of love for the most part. I took up acting as a career after early retirement from employment.
Can you give us a little insight into your love story with your late wife Mrs Anne Ofula?
Anne and I were meant for each other. She was a celebrity (television and radio presenter) long before I became popular as an actor yet at home, she was simply the woman I married, loving, caring and supportive.
What was she like?
Anne was blessed with the rare combination of outer and inner beauty. Ten years since her demise, I am still hoping to find someone with those same qualities.
Having been in the industry for so many years, and seeing what is happening today with all the restrictions in filming and production, what would you say about the direction which the industry has taken?
I think the two government bodies in charge of film are doing more harm to the film sector with their turf wars. Their mandates are clearly spelt out yet there’s not much to show in terms of development of the film sector. The government should be giving incentives to film makers to encourage more film production by local and international film producers. Kenya is a preferred film location but we lose out to our competitors in the continent due to punitive taxation.
What did you think about the ban of the film Rafiki? Was it fair that it gets banned locally but it gets huge recognition internationally?
I haven’t watched Rafiki so I cannot say much about it. However, the fact that it was shot in Kenya means they got licenced to do so. The ban could be justified only if the final product deviated from the script presented to and approved by the licensing authority.
Given a chance to say something to the film classification board today, what would you say?
I would tell them to strictly stick to their mandate as required by law.
What is the best film you’ve worked on and why is it so special to you.
I like all the work I’ve done as an actor and cannot isolate any as special.
What’s your advice to the young actors and film makers in the industry today?
Be faithful to your work, do it diligently and with passion and do not do it for fame or to be noticed.
If you were stuck in an island for three months. What three things would you have with you?
Cooking pot, matches and a book.
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The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Evewoman.co.ke