The main character of Selina, the drama series that runs on Maisha Magic East, makes you have many emotions while watching the show. There are times her interactions with Biko and Nelson drive one into the lovey-dovey mood. There are times when she becomes a girl worth pitying, what with the naivety she often exhibits in a cut-throat world. Sometimes she shows a hardened side, especially in scenes where she was leading a double life, which was uncovered in an explosive manner.
One constant emotion from Selina’s actions is that of attachment. She somehow manages to have most viewers on her side, sympathising with what she has to go through.
That role is deftly played by actress Celestine Gachuhi, who told Media Critic Kenya’s DAVID MWENDA that you will soon be hearing her gospel music besides seeing her on TV. Read along.
Between emotion and logic, which one do you find yourself using most times?
I don’t know. I tend to take many things to the heart. Most of the time, I tend to be driven by emotions, though sometimes I can be logical. I think I tend to care a lot about people.
You left a show on Inooro TV for Selina. Do you think you can go back? Or rather, are you looking forward to going back to do a show in a local language?
It depends on very many things. For now I can’t, but it depends on the cash, exposure: What am I getting from it? For now I do not think I would.
Now you are shooting which season of Selina?
We are shooting season three.
How has it been since season one?
Getting comfortable and experiencing; growing professionally. Being more creative also, being keener on things. As we go everyday, I’m learning something new. Every day, I am learning something new.
I was reading somewhere that it took you some time before getting settling into the role of Selina. Were you tensed about it?
I was tensed, I was excited, anxiety … it was a whole mix of feelings. I was happy but also I had people’s expectations and also that pressure to deliver.
You seem like you tend to believe in results a lot. Do you feel like at times you are under a lot of pressure to deliver?
Yeah, mainly out of 100, 80 percent of the times I feel I am under pressure to deliver because of my character. I have to fit in real quick and being on set everyday. That is pressure; a lot of pressure.
Are you now finding it easier to get on set, get comfortable?
(With a lot of enthusiasm) Yeah. I’ve now known people. We’ve now known each other off the set. We have become personal friends like personally and not on character level. Knowing people at a personal level that makes me comfortable and, you know, the more you do something, the more you feel better. Right now, I feel I am better than the first time I started shooting.
You talk a lot about purpose in life. What can you say is your main purpose?
My purpose is giving people hope through art and showing people they can do anything in life. Also, believing in yourself, knowing who you are and working on it.
You are a motivational speaker. Do you think motivational speaking is becoming more of a business than actually inspiring people?
First it comes from your heart then you get money from it, you get it? It was what I loved doing. Now, once I start sharing with people and then we start sharing, hey are like, ‘Thank you so much.’ Afterwards, I can go to schools and make money from it.
You also have a YouTube channel. What is it going to be about?
It is going to be motivational. It is about giving people hope so that we can learn together. I want people to comment about what we can learn together and what we can share about and give each other hope about.
And you are also planning to sing?
When can we expect a single or an album?
Soon. I do gospel; I am not sure about the when, but very soon.
How soon is soon?
(Laughs) Very soon.
How are you finding it now doing music and acting?
It is not different because I have also sang in church, in school. But now I want to go studio and do a composition because you are giving service and they are complementing each other.
You have a huge following on social media. How do you normally choose what to post and what to keep private?
I like putting my life private so much because I do not want people getting too much of me. I know they are my fans but I want to be careful about what I post. I want to remember who I am and what I stand for. Yeah, I am saved and I know what to post and what not to post. I do not post a lot about family sana, maybe two or three pictures. I just want them to know me.
Speaking of family, I watched an interview where you spoke a lot about your sister. She seems like a huge pillar in your life?
Yeah, a lot. From the beginning, I have two sisters and one brother; but now the elder one she has been there for us. She is a pillar for all of us.
You seem like a religious person. Is it one of your characters or attributes?
Yeah, right now I do not want to talk about religion because it is a bit wide. Right now I am in salvation. It is a pillar for me because I am a believer and it helps in everything I do.
Can I ask what your favorite verse in the Bible is?
Romans 8:28. It says that everything happens for a reason. He is intentional; He is everything that is happening in your life and He will do things in your life abundantly.
What book are you currently reading?
God’s Woman T.D Jakes
So, God’s woman?
What is it about?
When I read it I think it can also apply to men. (Laughter) It is mostly about how to motivate your life and get purpose. It is like His woman.
So, like married women?
(Laughs) No, not married women. It can be read by everyone: men, women, youth, etc.
Do you think the youth are being given opportunities in the film industry?
All I can say is that this is a competitive industry. Most of the youths I have talked to don’t want to work for it. They do not want to go for auditions. I feel like they do not want to go for it. That is the main issue with most people I have met. They do not want to meet the judges.
You sound like your audition was not so good?
Yeah, there was a lot of anxiety, fear. A lot of emotions. I have never had a bad audition like being told nasty things.
What next for Celestine?
First music then other projects. Not that I have them right now but I am hoping to get somewhere.
When was the last time you were fearful about something?
Aaah, when I was on set and I felt so overwhelmed, so many things were happening and I was afraid. There was this feeling of ‘I need to sleep adjust to the schedule’. And the feeling of ‘I need to deliver’.
Does fear of failure scare you?
Yes, it does. I do not let it control me; but it does scare me a little bit.
What is your favourite Kenyan film right now?
I watched World Tofauti and I feel it is amazing.
If you were to do a movie with three of your favorite celebrities or actors in Kenya, who would they be?
Abel Amunga, Wakio Mzenge and Mbeki Mwalimu.
You and Wakio seem to be very close?
(Chuckles) Yes, she gives me a mother figure on set; so, yeah.