Mugambi is an actor, writer and ad man, for now. While he confesses to being a student and appreciator of these art forms, he admits that he needs to learn a lot more about them. A slave to perfection and a victim of procrastination–he took weeks to submit this post–his ambition is to live a full and satisfying life, and enable others to do the same. Look out for him on a stage, film or TV series; once he’s able to get off his behind and/or land a decent role. Mugambi did succeed in landing a decent role. Catch him on Changes Season 3, now showing on MNet.
1. What was your first phone?
A yellow Philips. I forget the model. It was big and yellow and it didn’t have a vibrate function. It would look awful by today’s standards, but this was the era when silver Alcatels and Ericsson T10’s were vogue.
2. What do you prefer? Facebook or Twitter? Why?
I spend more time on Twitter because there’s a lot more important stuff happening on there. Facebook has its charm, though. My friends are accessible, it has pictures and videos everywhere, and the conversations are longer. More pleasant. Less cursory. I wish there were smarter people on there, though. And Zuckerberg should stop changing it all the time.
3. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Working with creative people eager to add value to life all over the world. I live in Kenya and two other continents, performing copiously and making lots of money, recognizing full well its inability to make me happy on its own. I am surrounded by family and friends constantly, so I’m happy. I’m also taller.
4. Any question for us? We’ll publish our answer as well
How different is the local poetry/spoken word scene from this time last year? Bigger? Brighter? More creative? Less?
It’s bigger & more visible now which is a plus for the performers and enthusiasts. Also, there are more events which means that performance poets have more platforms to express themselves. As far as creativity is concerned, there hasn’t been that much change.
5. What would you do if you were president for a day?
Fire the entire cabinet and public service, sweep the private sector for progressive minds to take over, launch a tamper-proof accountability system, then call an election. I would be voted out/assassinated by the end of the day.
6. What’s your favourite book & movie?
Movie is easy. City of God. I have seen lots of good film, but this one still moves me in a visceral way every time. Book? I don’t read enough. But What Is The What by Dave Eggers comes to mind. It’s a moving story about a well-known series of events, told in the most honest, heart-warming way. (A film adaptation was supposed to be shot in Kenya, Sudan and the US, but funding got pulled. I really hope it happens.)
7. Who/What inspired you to do what you do now?
Wow. I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by extraordinary people and events – family, friends, acquaintances, complete strangers. The more one encounters these honest, brilliant, unpretentious humans, the more one grows. One just needs to be open and receptive. And generous. We only get what we give.
8. If you were to change jobs, what profession would you get into? Why?
Teaching. It’s perhaps the most honorable profession. Tell me one individual who isn’t what they are today because of a teacher’s effort somewhere. I’d also be a tour guide to a different exotic location every year.
9.If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Mind-reading. Imagine what madness a walk in Nairobi would be. I would particularly enjoy hanging out with politicians, the clergy, women at the salon, and my boss.
10. If you were deserted on an abandoned island what 5 things would you want to have?
A satellite phone, a water purifier, a lifetime’s supply of Esquire magazine, a chopper and a small oil rig.
11. If you were a car, what car would you like to be? Why?
I’m not a car guy, unfortunately. What car enables losers to live the lives of celebrities? That one.
12. If you could be in any band in the world, which one would you like to be in? Why?
The Beatles. Did you know that the entirety of their prolific career occurred in just 11 years? Eleven. From an obscure band in Liverpool to the single largest influencer of pop music, probably for good. Listen to their first and last album and marvel at how a group of artists can evolve so quickly. Plus, they lived pretty decent lives off the stage. Yes, even Lennon.
13. Share something interesting about yourself with our readers.
My navel is an outie. A small one.