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Shooting straight

By | May 14th 2010


The Str8 Up duo of Namtero Mdee aka Tero and Kabochi Gakuu aka K-Trix say they have had to work hard before they could land CHAT Award for Teeniez VJ and Presenter for a TV Show.

Pulse: How did you guys hear about your nomination?

Tero: The Insyder guys called me and told me that our show had been nominated. We were very excited, because we have only been on air for about a year now. To have our show nominated was a great honour.

P: Only Tero was at the Chaguo la Teeniz ceremony, where was K-Trix?

K-Trix: I had a show at the Coast, so I was not able to make it but I was constantly in touch with Tero, like every15 minutes, just to find out if we had won. When we were finally named the winners, Tero could not call me right away, as she had to receive the award. However, a friend called me immediately. So by the time Tero was calling me, I already knew.

What was going through your mind when you were called as the winners of your category?

T: I was a little sad that K-trix was not there because we had worked so hard and I wanted to share the moment with him. Apart from that it was one of the greatest moments for me. It has been a journey and we were not always the favourites and have had to work hard. When the show began it had its hiccups but things worked for the better.

P: Tell us something about the difficulties?

The Str8 Up duo of Namtero Mdee aka Tero and Kabochi Gakuu aka K-Trix. Photo: PIUS CHERUIYOT/ STANDARD

K: We had haters, some guys would write in and say some pretty nasty stuff. It got to me and at some point I decided that I would give my best as a DJ but I would be that DJ who stayed at the corner and never spoke. But Tero would not have any of that, she would come and stand next to me and force me to talk. Getting on screen confidence was a bit of a challenge for me but with time the hate mails stopped and it got easier for me. I guess in life sometimes you need to prove yourself.

P: How did you get into the DJ profession?

K: While in campus taking Civil Engineering in Moi University, I got interested in mixing music. I did not know how to use turntables but I would mix using the computer and get paid like Sh500 per show. In 2008 when I heard about the Pilsner Mfalme competition, I joined. While at the competition I was forced to learn how to use turntables. I would literally learn as I used the equipment. I made it to the finals and Styles asked me to join Code Red.

P: Are you still studying Civil Engineering?

K: I’m actually in the process of changing to Journalism. I have been studying Civil Engineering for four years but I finally decided to switch on realising my passion. I want to transfer my credits and do journalism at the University of Nairobi or USIU.

P: Tero, you took International Business Administration at USIU and even graduated, how did you end up in the media?

T: My sister, having just won the Tanzania Coca Cola Vj competition, convinced me to try out Homeboyz auditions. I have been working at Homeboyz since then. As for television, I got a call early last year and I was asked to host Str8- up and I have not looked back.

P: Tero, as 24-years-old do you see yourself going back to school?

T: Hopefully, I would go back to school and one day pursue Public Relations and Advertising. A lot of people ask me if I see myself being a news anchor but at the moment I’m not so sure if that’s where I’m headed. I’m taking each day at a time; let’s see where that takes me.

P: K-Trix you are barely 21; you must have started school very young?

K: I joined school when I was young and I was forced to grow up very fast and being the eldest in my family did not help matters. I took on responsibilities that were not for my age. I really did not have the luxury to be a child.

P: You are both so busy how do you manage to balance?

T: It’s not easy, I’m at KTN by around 10am, where I do a lot of research amidst planning meetings. At around 4.30pm we have pre -shoot then the real shoot is from 5pm-6pm. I then get to rest until around 7pm before I head to Homeboyz for the late night show.

K: You just have to be a good planner or you will get overwhelmed. Guys always ask me what I do during the day, little do they know that I work at the Code Red offices as I’m employed there.

You work for both Code Red and Homeboyz?

T:I do not know why guys think that Str8 Up is a Code Red show it is a KTN show, so I do not work for two different DJ outfits.

P: Your late night show on Homeboyz is very graphic and kinky, is that your strategy?

T: I simply deal with issues that people call in with. Our society is very interesting, people are conservative on the outside but some of the issues that they call in about are not so conservative. I hear all sorts of problems but I give advice when I can but I never try to pretend that I have all the answers.

P: Speaking of kinky, has any of you had stalkers?

K: Funnily enough I’m the one who has had very weird stalkers. There used to be a group of girls who would leave dirty notes and condoms at my doorstep constantly. It got a little creepy and I had to move to a new place. Tero gets them too, the other day she told me some guy followed her all the way to the bus stop. I guess it’s part of being in the public eye.

P: Tero, you grew up in Tanzania while K-trix grew up at the Coast, how come you guys speak such good English?

T: I knew that you would ask me that. Anyway my dad was an ambassador so we travelled a lot. As a result I’ve lived in Paris and New York for a while. That is why my English is good, I guess.

K: I just had to teach myself; in Coast we learn English as a language but don’t speak it much. So when I joined Moi University and then later moved to Nairobi, I just had to learn how to speak it fluently.

P: Are any of you guys dating?

K: I have a girlfriend and we are in a serious relationship.

T: I’m too busy to be in any relationship. I barely have time for myself.

P: So,Tero you were never dating Styles?

T: Styles and I have never dated, people just saw us hanging out together once and assumed that we were dating. If people see me hanging out with, Juacali or K-Trix does it mean that we are dating as well?

P: Now that you guys have won a Chaguo what next?

K&T: Expect a bigger and better show, as we will be re-launching very soon.

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