Twitter Chat with Patricia Kihoro: Building a career in entertainment

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Do you have dreams of big lights and sold out concert halls?  Are you trying to convince your parents your love and talent for singing is a viable career? Many people make a living as entertianers but it’s hard to know where or how to start.

Join us Thursday Sept. 29th for a twitter chat with Kenyan singer, actress, radio presenter and improv comedian, Patricia Kihoro. If you have ever considered a career in the performing arts, then you don’t want to miss this chat.

Follow She Leads Africa on twitter and use the hashtag #SLAChats to ask your questions and participate in the discussion.

Topics that we’ll cover:

  • How to decide your talent is marketable
  • Making the right connections
  • Your African parents and your career in entertainment
  • Breaking out without selling out
  • The fastest route to killing your career before it starts

Twitter chat details

  • Date: Thursday Sept. 27, 2016
  • Time: 7am NYC // 12pm Lagos // 2pm Nairobi
  • Location: Follow She Leads Africa on twitter and use the hashtag #SLAChats

twitter-chat-patricia-kihoroAbout Patricia Kihoro

Patricia Kihoro is a singer, actress, radio presenter, improv comedian and sporadic blogger from Nairobi, Kenya. She has dabbled in just about everything in the entertainment sphere.

Soon after completing her Psychology degree in 2008, she joined a reggae band, and then participated in a regional televised singing competition where she emerged a finalist. She has since acted in numerous musical stage productions, as well as in a few TV series and a couple of award winning films. Patricia has written articles for magazines and websites, emceed at events, released radio singles, been in a few friends’ music videos, hosted a popular radio show, participated in a Nigerian reality series, anchored the news on radio, and shared a stage with musical artists such as Just A Band, Aaron Rimbui, Harry Kimani as well as American Jazz great, Gerald Albright.

She has also been on tour in Europe, singing and dancing on stage 6 days a weeks for 3 months. Her biggest achievement so far has been writing, producing, directing and performing her own stage show, “Life In The Single Lane”, which was a surprising success, and sold out all six times she put it up.

She currently is part of an improv comedy group, because You Said So, that puts up a show every two months at Nairobi’s popular Carnivore Restaurant. She is also currently a judge on a talent show to be screened on KISS TV. She’s not done yet, however, as she still has some albums to work on, a TV series to create, a book of short stories to write, and 12 children to bear. She will however, never go sky diving. Ever.

Acting career tips from Cameroon’s Nsang Dilong

Nsang Dilong is Cameroon’s rising screen star. In this exclusive chat, she shares tips on starting an acting career, ways to improve an acting career and talks on the Cameroon film industry.

“Always try to perfect your craft daily either by reading books on acting, watching other actors and also practicing. It takes constant hard work and determination.” Nsang Dilong says.

Nsang is a beautiful young lady who is earning her right as one of Cameroon’s rising TV stars in the acting industry. She’s had the luxury of acting in many Cameroonian movies and series like Whispers, Tchanga and Inoma, Separate Lives, Rumble and Expression. She has also acted in a handful of Nigerian movies.

Outside from her acting career, Nsang is a model and philanthropist. Her humanitarian works revolve around making sure more orphans and vulnerable kids go to school. It is proof of the impact and healing she brings to most Cameroonian local communities.

Here, the Tchanga and Inoma actress spoke on how she navigated her path into the industry and challenges she faces as young actress. Nsang also offered advice to other young persons who wish to take up acting as a career.

On how she navigated her path into the film industry;

“Well I cannot say I have fully navigated my way around the film industry. I am still in the process. It takes constant hard work and determination.

Always try to perfect your craft daily either by reading books on acting, watching other actors and also practice.”


On what the Cameroon film industry is like;

“The Cameroon film industry is growing in great strides, very great strides. Many people didn’t believe in it, but we are taking up the challenge as young women and it’s really evolving, considering the fact that our movies are now internationally recognised.”

Her advice on starting an acting career

– I will tell every person, especially young girls, who wish to take up acting as a career to get an education first.

– Be sure you have the passion and talent for acting. When passion meets hard work, success is sure.

– Don’t expect to be movie-stars overnight. Patience and consistency are key elements in this industry.

– If you can afford it, go to film schools, attend film festivals and workshops as much as you can. Read books, there are a lot of good acting books out there. Get them and read.

-A great deal of learning also happens on the field. By field I mean when you are acting. Accept criticisms, read and learn on how to rise above mistakes.

Naomi Kamau’s 5 tips on success and mentorship

Mentorship needs to be built, enforced and embraced. This is what creates the next generation of leaders, to spur the growth and prosperity of a country. Through mentorship, I know I will leave a lasting legacy

– Naomi Kamau, Kenyan producer, actress and scriptwriter

There isn’t a soul in Kenya right now in love with local television drama that hasn’t heard of Naomi Kamau. Naomi is by far one of Kenya’s leading television producers and actresses. From her acting roles in “Mother in law” and “Shamba Shape-Up” to her popular TV production “Machachari”, she is described as an iron lady when it comes to the Kenyan production arena. It is evident that Naomi has done a lot for the Kenyan TV industry. Hers is a passion to tell the African story for what it really is. To showcase the ordinary Kenyan life, to use drama to solve social problems and to help others embrace their heritage and be proud of who they are.

As a mentor and a mother, what gives her the greatest gratification is when Kenyan’s appreciate their own, when they rave about Kenyan productions and when they see themselves or others they know of in the characters created. Naomi posits that this is the path to greatness for any country -embracing their own abilities, heritage, culture and splendor.

“Africans need to create content that is commensurate with the lives they live for this is what will entice and draw the audience into appreciating their own”, she says.

When mentoring the young people. First and foremost it is important to recognize that we cannot as entrepreneurs implement the dream forever and that we have to pass the baton on to the youth in order to create a culture of sustainability in quality TV productions.

“I have great mentors myself like Wachira Waruru, Latifah Ngunjiri, Catherine Wamuyu and David Campbell. Successful people, most of the time, have to have mentors who are older and younger than they are”, she quips.

IMG_0022Having studied air-ticketing and taught History and English to secondary school students at some point in her life, Naomi shared five steps that she believes is the sure pathway to a successful production career.

1. Identify your passion

“Passion should be what drives you to surge forward. My parents wanted me to be a teacher but the passion within me couldn’t let me pursue that. I ended up teaching for two years but the passion was at it again stirring deeply
within me. The one strange thing about passion is that it’s almost spiritual and so strong and real that it will not let you rest until you embark on the journey to your dreams.”

2. Take the first step

“It is evident that God will certainly not bless someone who isn’t working toward the dream. You have got to be on the journey that will take you to your passion irregardless of the circumstances. A lot of young people view money as a great impediment but it shouldn’t be, you can work for the people who you want to be like, that is a path that will somehow lead you to where you are looking to go.”

3. Be creative and resilient

In this industry young people can be anything they would like to be if they put their minds and hearts into it. There are vast opportunities in wardrobe, make-up, animation, graphics and writing that young people can explore and excel in.

4. Work hard

This is the essence of success. It means literally getting down and dirty. When things seem not to be working, strive on, Rome was not built in a day. It takes hard work and time to build a successful and thriving career.

5. Read and Research

You need to know what others in the industry have done so that you can create something better. Better still you can liaise with the people already there in order to create something better. Production is an expensive venture especially for a young person and mistakes cost money. It would be good to know what other people who’ve made it think of your work. That is the essence of having a mentor.

6 career lessons from global superstar Lupita Nyong’o

Lupita nyong'o

Since her feature film debut in 2013, Mexican born Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o’s star has been lit and has remained that way ever since. With a beautiful smile, a boatload of talent and passionate voice she’s been winning hearts all over the globe.

Proven to have many more film projects and theater shows up her sleeve, Lupita is the exact kind of career woman we will happily take future-improving advice from.Lupita Nyong'o

1. Doubt is part of the path

Lupita has said in interviews that when director Steve McQueen had already asked her for a leading role in his screen picture Twelve Years A Slave, she still felt like he could call back any moment to tell her he had made an mistake.

We love how open and honest Lupita has been about the impact of her career so far; living the example that doubt can be a useful instrument rather than a barrier that holds us back from developing ourselves.

2. Speak up for things that matter

The fine art of supporting a cause and not becoming the center point of it – Lupita masters that.

Whether it’s her ambassadorship for WildAid or the race and gender diversity discussion in Hollywood, Lupita’s pages include inspiring posts that explain her personal relation to the cause and encourage fans, readers, followers to get involved.

Lupita Nyong'o

3. Be aware of what makes you happy

Though she has won more awards in two years than lots of peers do in a decade, Lupita says her greatest satisfaction comes from being an inspiration to girls all over the globe, her native Kenya included. Validation and success can not always measured by money or prizes – your social footprint can play a big part in your happiness.

4. Support your environment

Whether it’s her stylist Micaela or co-actress Danielle Brooks, Lupita is supportive of those around her by putting on for them publicly. Especially via social media, Lupita is very outspoken about her talented friends and coworkers.

Lupita Nyong'o with Danielle Brooks

5. Drastic change can make for growth and opportunity

After attending different schools in Nairobi, Kenya, Lupita left for Mexico and the United States, where she went to college. Although it took her a while to appreciate this new environment, Lupita explains: “I was very indecisive about what I wanted to do. I knew that if I was in a more structured environment, I would end up not taking the risks I was raised to take.”

Look at her now!

6. Value your surroundings

When she won an Academy Award, her brother Junior Nyong’o was right by her side, and in other press, Lupita speaks lovingly of her family as well. She says honesty, dignity and integrity are some of the most important character traits she has learned from them. All my conscious life, my father has fought for what he believed in, even when it was highly inconvenient.”

Coming from a hard-working, well known and successful family, Lupita acknowledges the privileges she has been able to enjoy, and always shows gratitude for education.Lupita Nyong'o

Any other career lessons you’ve learned from mega star, Lupita Nyong’o? Any other stars you would like for us to research and investigate?