The story of starting humble and ending up at stardom and staying humble is not unfamiliar when you listen to Kevin Mbithi. He quietly finds his way to Ubunifu, apparently hails from the neighbourhood. If you are not keen enough you might not notice his presence. But our hawk-eyed Muindi Kisio was quick to spit him and sit down over a cup of coffee and a plate of cassava. The result? If faith can move mountains, Art can move Africa.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Kevin Mbithi. I was born and raised in Mua hills, Machakos County. I hold a bachelors degree in psychology. I am a God fearing young man, a rare trait among the current generations. Profession-wise, I am producer, director and also an actor.
What have been you life inspirations?
When I was young, I dreamt of becoming an actor. My passion for acting increased when I joined Mbooni Boys and became a member of the school’s drama club. Furthermore, when I joined the university, my dreams started soaring higher when I met Spielworks group. We did several programs together which later helped me to land a contract to feature in Changing Times series, a KTN drama series.
What are some of your highlights and challenges so far?
After university I was lucky enough to act in several TV programs in Kenya and across East Africa. I featured in ‘changing times’ that was a Kenyan TV program as well as Isabella. I have also featured in Tanzanian films including the Videos like, Take me back Home, Bitter Truth and Vicheshi. Consequently, I have appeared as a guest artist in Mashtaka and Pray and Prey which are Kenyan TV programs.
The creative sector like any other industry got challenges of its own. First, issue of bad payments especially from some Kenyan producers is unavoidable. Some don’t even provide costumes to actors. My plea would be to the Kenya Film Classification Board that they should do more in educating artists about their job rights.
How can you compare the Kenyan and Tanzanian art industries from your own experiences?
Kenya for sure got wonderful talents. However, there lacks proper structures on how to tap and nurture talents at a young age. The potential in Kenya is truly there, but the relevant institutions and organizations involved in the creative industry should work extra hard for Kenya to be placed on the world map.
What has been your best performance so far?
That best performance that I can say happened when I featured in the Changing Times playing the role as Jemo. In that episode, Jemo was a Ghetto guy who had obtained a scholarship to study in one of the prestigious schools but couldn’t detach himself from the Ghetto life. The role meant me to be nominated for the kalasha awards as the best supporting character in the year 2013.
What was your worst performance ever?
One the performance that I believe did not work well with me was when I appeared on Isabella. From the start, the producer did not give us with the right costumes, little payment, late arrival of scripts as well as poor directing. That to me was pathetic and below my expectations.
Any actor you would like to work with?
Yes, several of them. In Kenya, I would love to work with Nick Mutuma, Nick Ndeda and Alfred Munyw’a. These three guys, truly inspire me.
What are you currently working on?
Currently I am working on a drama series that will air in one of the local television stations. It will be more of an educative series that will include themes of drugs abuse, crime, prostitution and hopelessness. Potentially by October it should be out. Be on the lookout.
Do you have any advice to upcoming artists?
Of course yes. Don’t pursue arts because of fame. It’s a career like any other and not an option. Commit to yourself to what you want to be in life. Research more in areas of your interest and be ready to learn every day.
What are your future plans?
I got a couple of them. I plan to have my own production house which will focus on tapping and nurturing young creative’s. I plan also to have a beautiful family of my own.
How can one find you?
I am on facebook as Mbithi Kevin. Instagram – kevmbithi. And also you can come to my office in Juja, Opensky Kenya where we deal with cinematography.
Muindi Kisio – Fetch & Focus! Mwl Gregg Tendwa – Edit & Focus! One good story after another.