IAN MBUGUA - ONE OF KENYA'S BIGGEST CRITICS
Born 40 something years ago in Kiambu, Central Kenya, Ian Mbugua is a household name in Kenya's film, and theatre industry.Ian holds Diplomas in Education, Theology, Sales, Marketing, and Public Relations from various institutions.He is the third born in a family of three boys and a girl. His mother was a nurse while the father was a teacher. In the late 1960s and early 70s, Ian spent a few years of his childhood abroad when his father, then an education officer, was posted as Kenya's education attaché to London, England and later to Bonn, Germany.
As a young boy, he attended five different preparatory/primary schools, the last one being Park Road Primary School in Nairobi.While there, he took part in verse speaking and debate. Ian also came to love English and Mathematics. After completing his Certificate of Primary Education, he joined Lenana School where he enjoyed drama, cricket, hockey and swimming.
Some of the awards he has attained include: a Lifetime achievement from the Mbalamwezi National Theatre Annual Awards. He was also the first Kenyan selected to act in South African hit soap Egoli, Place of Gold - shot in Johannesburg. He was the first Kenyan African Managing Director of Phoenix Players and acted in and directed over 150 productions.
In an interview with FilmBiz Africa Magazine, Ian gave his perspective on the Kenyan film industry stating that the music and theatre scene in Kenya has grown in leaps and bounds but not enough, and still lagging behind in comparison with some of the other African
countries. Ian is of the view that it is an industry that can and should be developed as it is a multi-million shilling industry in waiting in that Kenya has very many talented youth who could turn it into a living but lack the necessary support.
“The society as a whole needs to cultivate a positive attitude towards those in the entertainment industry and successive governments have done very little to develop the talent. We also have a public that looks down on artistes. The entertainment industry is considered an alternative for those who have failed in school. Artistes too are to blame for their very unbecoming conduct. Many do not behave like professionals rushing to the bars whenever they get some money,” he says.
On advice to the young upcoming artists, Ian urges them to pursue formal education first besides training in the arts as Kenya has not yet reached the stage where one can comfortably make a living purely off the arts.
Spotted: Mentality, Mnet Changes, Tusker Project Fame etc.
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Courtesy FilmBiz Africa