Gerald Langiri
October 17 / 2012

Any avid movie holic and staunch follower of Kenyan programming should know this fashionable actress. Now a musician that goes by the name Nariki. If you are able to list 10 random Kenyan actors without thinking about it, I bet award winning actress Janet Kirina will be in your list. That is how high Nariki’s star has risen in the entertainment industry. Down to earth and very social, Janet Kirina is not only making actors run for their money but now musicians too should be very very scared as there is a new sheriff in town and she is not about to stop. For those still trying to figure out who Janet is, perhaps this will jog your mind:

26 year old Nariki is as versatile as they get. In her acting career, she has been spotted in the movies "All girls together" and "Benta" which won her the coveted "Best Actress" in a film at the 2009 Kalasha Film and Television awards. In serieses Block D, Makutano Junctionare some of the programes she has featured in but she is famously know from Higher Learning. Kids are not left out as she has also been a presenter in the kids show “Know Zone” and that is no coincidence as her passion, love and care for kids is something that cannot go by unmentioned. Do you remember the 1st ever Kenyan Celebrity Charity Catwalk early this year, a fashion event aimed at raising funds for the children of compassionate hands for the disabled under the initiative dubbed “Media tulee mtoto charty initiative” which she founded? She is also currently working as a producer trying to actualize the movie “My life in Crime” a depiction of John Kiriamiti’s life.

Her music scene started early this year when she released the song “love mission” which did fairly well as people were still trying to accept Janet as a musician. Her second track “Niinge box” (by Ogogpa Deejays) however has propelled Nariki’s music career to nominations in Kisima Music Awards 2012 in two categories namely: Upcoming artist of the year and Urban Artiste of the year.

I caught up with Janet for a one on one and here is what she had to say to the following questions:

G: Why music Janet?

J:  I love when an idea starts forming in my head. I can hear this track that nobody has ever heard just playing non-stop in my head or when I listen to someone else's song and it takes me to their world. That kind of connection is beyond. I just love music

G:What does music now mean for your acting career?

J: It means that it has now got a twin. Lol It’s great to be acting and singing at the same time. It’s who I am. I am just living my dream, the best of both worlds if you will.

G: What acting projects are you working on right now?

J: I have been on set for the last 3months shooting Makutano Junction Season 12 & 13. I did a pilot for a new drama series called Glam which I co-produced with Nice Githinji and Ogopa Video. I’ve started studying for my next movie role-Millie in the movie “My Life in Crime.”

G: Choose between Music and Acting?

J: I can’t choose. I get a special kind of "high" when am in the studio and on set. I knew if I dint start taking music seriously i wouldn’t live with myself. So here I am now and they both feel right.

G: Kisima music awards in barely a year of you embarking on music, how did that happen?

J: My manager from Ogopa insisted we should submit Niingize Box. I wasn’t that crazy about it because like you said, it has barely been a year doing music. But he believed in me and went ahead and did it anyway. At times we need people to see in us the good that we can’t see for ourselves.

G: What was your reaction on hearing that you have been nominated for Kisima?

J: I was going in for make-up on set and my fellow actor Natashali Likimani started congratulating me and I just went like "...eerr...for" then she was like for your Kisima nomination..Then I was like no, I couldn’t have been nominated. I just remember going to Google, seeing my name and screaming and hugging my friends on set. I still can’t believe it. It’s amazing I dint see it coming. It’s quite humbling and it sort of reminds me there is no turning back or second guessing what I have to offer my fans. I actually shed a tear but don’t put that in the interview (just did).

G: Do you think you'll win?

J: I pray I win. Hey a Kisima Award, come’ on now...I want..Quite a sprint even for the achiever that I like to think I am.  I believe in my fans because without them I can’t do it. I wouldn’t be here. I owe them that much. I however do recognise that I am in a categories that have Camp Mulla and Nonini just to mention but a few but being nominated in 2 categories is itself a huge achievement.

G: Last remarks?

J: When the voting lines open, let’s do this because Nariki has just begun.

G: For the faithful artists trying to make it out there?

J: Do. Do. Do. If it’s something you are really passionate about, Do. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. You just keep on doing.

View Janet Kirina’s Acting profile here.

Full list of Kisima nominees

Watch the video that got her the Kisima nomination below and let us vote for #team Nariki.

Interview by Gerald Langiri

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