NESHIRO MEEGESH, popularly known as Chepkoech on Classmates TV show, is a hustler at her best. She spoke to SILAS NYAMWEYA
Tell us about yourself.
My name is Neshiro Meegesh, a daughter of the Savanna. I am a filmmaker and an actress.
Did you always want to be an actor?
Well, yes, my interest in acting started in high school. Upon joining Form One, I joined the drama club and everything came naturally and I fell in love with this. I was always the main character in my school drama either play or dance.
How did you venture into professional acting after high school?
After high school, I proceeded to university to pursue a degree in theatre arts and a diploma in film production.
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For Classmates TV Show, I went for an audition and it was for a Kalenjin accent. I have always played around with this accent and that day it came in handy. I got the role Chep and the beautiful journey began. Another show I have featured in is In your Shoe (KU TV), and some reality show in (Honey TV) but the two shows I just featured in one episode each.
How are you planning to expand your acting career?
Well, I am working on my YouTube channel, aiming at posting more content in the future, TikTok as well. I also go for auditions and cross my fingers to land on other challenging roles.
What else do you do?
Like I said before, I did film production and theatre arts for both my diploma and degree so I also do audio-video editing, I direct and script. I do online jobs as well, last but not least I make DIY home decor and earings with polymer clay.
How and why do you juggle these tasks?
Editing and transcription I do when not on set. Since shoots are usually continuous for a period of time then you are free for some time before resuming. Why? because I am not yet at a level where I can say acting pays me so well that I don’t need to do anything else. But I am heading there.
What do you like about acting? Anything you don’t like about it?
What I love about acting is being in character, to me, it’s about living the life of this character than it is acting. From the characters in the Bible, you feel this character, think like this character, live the character, you are the character. You get to feel and experience things that in your normal life you haven’t. It’s beautiful. I don’t think there is anything I don’t like about acting except perhaps the tendency by the audience not to differentiate between the character and the actor, you can meet someone who doesn’t like your character and he or she brings up issues.
Many characters are exploiting digital platforms to make money, how are you doing it personally?
Like I said earlier, I am currently working on my digital media platforms. Make it more active from there I am hoping to grow and reach that point of earning from my socials.
What don’t people know about Chepkoech or rather Neshiro Meegesh?
I am this Maasai village girl that they are about to know.
Acting does have a psychological and emotional effect on actors, any personal experience?
When I did the film Film Wimped, the plot was about GBV. By the time I was done with the film I was emotionally drained, the character Miriam was abused physically, psychologically, mentally and ended up dying. The fact that this happens in real life causes me mental anguish, yaani I think it’s the hardest role I have taken so far.
Then for Chep (Classmates) this girl is too blonde for life some few days after shoots I am still stupid (laughs).
What main challenge do you think Kenyan actors are facing?
Going for auditions for films is very demoralizing, you go for like 15 different auditions and no one calls you back, or if they do you get an extra role, sometimes you feel like you don’t have what it takes ama?
Your closing remarks?
Art is beautiful, the creative mind is beautiful. If you are good at anything in the creative world, go for it. It will not be a smooth journey but it’s a beautiful journey.