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Lifelong passion: Nakuru woman acts and sings to supplement the family income

By Paul Kariuki | January 6th 2016
Elizabeth Wairimu

NAKURU: It has been said life begins at 40, and at 42, Elizabeth Wairimu is living true to this maxim courtesy of her skills as an actress and singer.

The mother of five was hardly known beyond her home village of Wanyororo, Nakuru County, but is now gaining popularity through her acting and songs. Her movies, in Swahili and Kikuyu, are packaged in CDs which she moves around selling and this personal interaction is helping her cultivate and retain a good client base.

Wairimu uses her skills to address everyday issues and this gives her work a certain appeal as they resonate with her target audience. She did not go beyond primary school level but she took the initiative to further her education by enrolling for adult classes. Today, she works with her 20-year-old daughter to come up with scripts.

The production of her songs and movies are done at a local studio and sometimes she ropes in fellow actors and extras to help meet production costs. These are later recouped from sales.

Wairimu says the desire to be an actress has been with her since her younger years and it was watching Kikuyu comedies, in her later years, that reawakened that dormant passion. Further, being a housewife while her casual worker husband struggled to feed and educate their children propelled her to do something.

She is now a firm believer that it is never too late to actualise one's dreams no matter how old you are.

As with any other business, hers has had its share of ups and downs. Doing her own marketing can be strength sapping sometimes and she often has to handle critics who seek to water down her efforts.

"There are those who cannot pen a good script but are always quick to criticise what others are doing. I, however, do not let such people get me down. I use their criticism to better my work," she says.

Wairimu hawks each CD at Sh100 and her daily take home depends on sales made that day.

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