SPOTLIGHT ON #KALASHAAWARDS2014 BEST ACTRESS IN A FILM ROSE NJOROGE
Born 22nd of July 1989, 25 year old Rose K Njoroge is a multi-talented artist with actor (screen and voice), model, and scriptwriter being some of the labels she proudly possesses. A very shy girl when growing up, expressing herself was a daunting task. She however found solace in pen and paper as a means of letting out issues she wasn’t comfortable talking about and this ignited her self-expression personality.
“I started performing in Sunday school, which strikes me as funny. I was the shyest kid I know yet my teachers always picked me when they needed someone. I still don't know why. But I guess I was good at it since I kept bringing home awards. The one I remember most is performing a play as a shrewd prophetess and winning second best actor.” She recalls her past.
With sparks of talent highlighted, she continued pursuing drama even in high school.
“I was very quiet in high school as well but I remember in one English class where the teacher called me in front of the class and told me he wanted me to perform a poem in church. It started again, with me performing solo verses in Drama festivals, most reaching provincial level.” She opens up.
After completing her O-levels she was forced to take up a course in software engineering while deciding what next for her life. Her passion and desire for the arts however kept on knocking and knocking hard. It wasn't after watching a Phoenix play with her family when she decided that acting is what she was meant to do.
Like many parents, the news wasn’t well received but her desire was greater than the No’s she got from her family and friends.
She auditioned several times to join phoenix players which was and arguably still is the biggest theatre house in the country but she got rejected severally but never gave up. She instead changed strategies and decided to join set book and travelling theatre.
Her family being against the decision, she ran away from home in Limuru and moved to the big city on her own. Talk about chasing after your dreams.
“To say it was hard would be an understatement. Coming from a family where everything was given to me and money wasn't a problem to being alone in Nairobi with hardly anything to eat....that was hard.” She narrates.
During her set book years, she recalls everything wasn’t rosy and her acting dream wasn’t turning out how she had envisioned. She started questioning her choice to become an actor when from left to right; she was being conned and swindled by producers for not being paid and at times spending hungry nights at only the age of 21.
She then decided theatre was enough for her and she would like to now move to film.
“If I thought set book life was hard, I hadn't seen anything yet. Rejection, rejection, rejection. Every audition I turned out for, they all said no. For a whole year.” She recalls.
She however eventually landed a role as an extra in the series Lies that Bind, an opportunity which she used well and started networking and knowing who-is-who in the industry. In the midst of creating her network, she was informed of an audition at the Kenya National Theatre where a movie audition was being conducted.
“I showed up and I looked at the character brief, not from the top like everyone else, but at the bottom. I picked the most minor of roles and auditioned. In my mind, no one would want that role, so I had a high chance of getting it. So, you can imagine my shock when my strategy didn't work. And I'm happy it did not because instead of getting that small role I wanted, I got the lead” she retorts.
That is how Rose landed her role as Julia in the award winning movie Strength of a Woman in which she won the coveted Best Lead actress in a film at Kalasha Awards 2014.
Upon completion of shooting the movie, she did not rest.Her passion, thirst and desire pushed her for more. A few months later, she auditioned with Spielworks Media and got a role as Kate, a young intern, in the yet to premier series Jane and Abel which will soon be shown on Africa Magic. It was initially a small role but her performance lead to the director wanting to see more of her and she got more pages and lines in the script.
“It is safe to say that my family has warmed up to the idea of me being an actor, with my grandfather being my greatest supporter. The Kalasha nomination for my role as Julia in Strength of a Woman pleased him so much that he voted for me every day (I spent almost three hours showing him how ). When they wrote about me in The Standard, he bought everyone in the family a copy of the newspaper.” She chuckles
And that right there is a classic story of how dreams come true if only you do not give up on them. Rose K. Njoroge is truly an inspiration.
Rose also writes poetry for fun. The poems, she says, reflect how she is feeling at the time. Whenever she is super angry, she put her feelings on paper and her anger is subdued.