Patricia Kihoro: Create the work you want!

patricia kihoro

Patricia Kihoro needs no introduction. The multi-talented Kenyan singer and actress has only grown since becoming a finalist at Tusker Project Fame 3 (TPF) in 2009. Now, Patricia has produced her own musical stage show, worked with a variety of renowned musicians and performed across Europe.

Through all this, what matters most to Patricia is harnessing positivity and creating a great product.

“As people in the creative industry, we are always tarmacking. I got to a place in life where I decided I wasn’t going to stay in the house waiting for work so I created the work I wanted ”, Patricia says.

Obviously, music is not all there is to you. Tell us about the other things you do.

As an entertainer, my interest spans singing, acting, writing, stage performances and photography. In the spirit of creating work for myself, I wrote, directed and produced my own stage show, Life in the Single Lane, a narrative involving interactive storytelling, acting and singing.

The name was inspired by my then single status. In this show, I had put in all my savings and was a bit nervous. The play sold out, reaffirming my belief in authenticity.

Life in the Single Lane was not fiction, I was not acting, I was being me. I wanted to create a product that was original and authentic. It ended up being something that people were comfortable bringing their friends, parents and even their teenage children to watch.

Evidently, the love bug bit again and it’s a wrap for Life in the Single Lane, literally. So, how much of our personal issues should we let into our businesses?

When creating a product, say a play or music, my current state of mind matters a lot. I know I am my greatest enemy. But the good thing is, I was able to harness into my heartbreak positively and create a great product.

Patricia Headshot 3(1)

You were in the Because You Said So stage show. How was it?

In 2014, along with a group of friends led by Jason Runo, we staged an improv comedy show dubbed ‘Because You Said So’, a hilarious comedy improvisation stage show.

Improv comedy is a form of live standup comedy that is unscripted and entails off the cuff responses to scenarios created by a host. The show has gone on to enjoy tremendous success over the past 2 years.

Do you worry about everyday things other entrepreneurs worry about? I mean issues like paying bills or paying late.

As a creative especially, I worry that my product may not be good enough.

Tell us about your radio show. What kind of music do you play?

My radio job at HBR 103.5 is something I take pride in. My show Afrocentral showcases urban and contemporary music from across Africa. I also host creatives making waves on the continent.

There’s a lot of good music out there, songs that don’t enjoy any or enough airplay. This is the kind of music I play.

Africans are so talented. My greatest joy is when I receive feedback from delighted listeners who call in asking more about the music or the artist.

This sounds like a fun and easy job. Is it?

I sometimes have to turn the internet upside down looking for music on YouTube and even reaching out to artists directly.

Before HBR, I worked at 1 FM radio as a News Presenter. I would say persistence and networking have helped a lot.

You’re also an actress. Tell us about it.

I was cast on MNET’s production Changes (my first TV gig), Sauti and Rush TV pilots and the 1st & 2nd season of Groove Theory (Africa’s first ever musical TV series).

These were not roles that were handed to me. I had to rigorously audition for each and every one of them. I have even had to audition for a role in my best friend’s production.


You’re multi-talented but do you ever suffer indecisiveness, especially with what project to do and when?

Unfortunately, I can never choose music over my acting, radio or vice versa. These are all abilities that make up who I am as a creative person.

Of course, I become indecisive at times. Some friends have advised me to concentrate on one thing, say music. But if I did that I feel I would be selling myself short.

Are you involved in other ventures outside the creative industry?

Besides being involved in the creative industry, I am one of the mentors at Blaze. Blaze is a recently launched platform that empowers youths to be in control of their careers and future while helping them succeed in their specific chosen fields. It is a sub-brand of Safaricom,  a leading mobile service provider in Kenya.

I also mentor in media, arts, and journalism.

How are you inspired?

I keep a group of close-knit friends who inspire, build and challenge me to grow in my career.

We want your stories! Tell us what amazing things women are doing in your communities here.

About Sally Mbuthia

Sally Mbuthia is a freelance Journalist/Filmmaker based in Nairobi Kenya. She runs her company Freedom Media Ltd (K).

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