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SNAPPY 7: Ninja – I can never be a watchman to save my life

Kenyan actor, Jeff Okello, popularly known as Ninja, has without doubt cut a niche for himself in the local entertainment scene.

The actor, who plays the role of a gate man in the immensely popular local soap Mother-in-Law, is adored by many thanks to his charisma. He took his time out to chat with Nairobi News on what he wants next in his life.

1. Who is Jeff Okello – Jeff is an actor who plays the role of Ninja in the Mother-in-Law TV show and Jeff likes Ninja but I don’t think Ninja likes Jeff. I portray a role of humility.

I was born in Huruma then my father got some money and we moved to Kariobangi where I spent my childhood. I’m the fifth born in a family of ten and my dad goes by the nickname ‘military’.

One of my sisters, Lydia, was a dancer in a Sauti Sol video and she also appeared in Tahidi High TV show.

2. When did you know you could act – They always say being a physician or a doctor is a calling, so trust me when I say acting is also a calling because not everyone can act.

Many actors don’t like to take a minor role like I do acting as a watchman but to tell you the truth I can’t be a watchman even to save my life.

I started acting in church when I was still a child and I thank God for everything. Up to now I still go back and teach acting to the youth.

3. Are you dating – There is no lady who carries the name Okello but I’m praying to God and I know God will come through for me. It’s an institution (marriage) you are not supposed to go to blindly.

4. How good are you in the kitchen – I was taught by my mother how to cook. I remember she would order me to go to the kitchen. When I was eight years old I could cook ugali for 40 people, so for me cooking is just a piece of cake.

5. What is your most embarrassing moment – There was this day I was doing a leading role at the theater and I accidentally went on stage with my zip open. In the middle of acting I realized my zip was open. To make matters worse my then girlfriend was in the audience.

But as an actor you don’t stop, the show must go on. At the end of the show, the audience told me that my zip being open helped the show.

6. What is your take on Kenya film industry – To me it is like a time bomb waiting to explode. The only problem we have is the distribution channels that are letting us down. But the Kenyan film industry is one of the biggest investment the country has.

7. What is next for Jeff and what would you tell young people who look up to you – I would one day like to go live abroad for a while and see if I can take my ideas out there and represent Kenya with more vigor. There is something about Kenya which is not right, I don’t know if it’s the corruption I fear, but I just want to go out for a while.

Acting is not easy, acting is not a piece of cake, it needs discipline and concentration because the world is harsh and it needs perfection. Go out there and try to be the perfect person as much as it is hard. Be that actor who can concentrate in what they are doing because that is what you want.