Few conversations are ever as insightful as conversations with people who have mastered their craft and conquered their world. Pascal Tokodi is one such individual and I got the pleasure of sitting down with him and talking alittle about this and alittle about that.
Pascal Tokodi became the talk of the town when afew weeks back, while the country was busy minding its own business a video surfaced on social media that showed a chance encounter between him and President Uhuru Kenyatta.
When this happened, in the few seconds that the encounter lasted for, Pascal asked Uhuru Kenyatta to watch his show, Selina, on Showmax. This was a very brave thing to do but it was also a very divisive statement it would later seem.
You see, a lot of Kenyans were hoping he would raise some issues affecting their lives and chief of these was the lockdown curfew. And what do I mean by this? Alot of guys wanted him to turn into an activist.
Instead, Pascal Tokodi did the smart thing and banked on himself. He excitedly asked the president to watch Selina. And as a result, he says he has experienced a surge of interest in his show from quarters as far out as Kenyans in the diaspora.
I recently got to sit down with him for a chat and we had alot of things to discuss. Chief of which to me was to find out what he thought about the backlash received and how the gambit paid out for him. We discussed other topics including his advice to aspiring actors and even how to discern between good advice and great advice.
Ozy: Afew weeks back, you chanced upon President Uhuru and you decided to promote your show and your craft
Pascal Tokodi (PT): Yeah
Ozy: Did you expect the varied reaction guys had? Some supporting you and others against it?
PT: Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but at that moment, I couldn’t have asked him a lot so I said what I had to say and I took off.
Ozy: How did that unexpected promotion pay off?
PT: I really don’t know the back-end analytics of the full nini but what I saw from social media was guys who did not used to watch Selina took an interest in watching it. I was even getting queries from guys like in Florida asking how they can get to watch the show. It was great seeing guys who hadn’t watched Selina before this take an active interest. For me I did my part in pushing the show.
Ozy: So that means you got a new audience right?
And if you are also keen on finding out why the show has managed to maintain all the curious people who went to watch it after all the furore, well you can catch it on Showmax aswell as a whole series of awesome Kenyan shows that are done to international standards and I guarantee will keep you glued to your screen for just 380 bob. You read that right, three hundred and eighty bob is all it takes.
Soon enough, the conversation veered off into discussing the fact a lot of Kenyans are now willing to bank on their talents and dreams. Here we spoke about the fact that people only see him now that he has made a name for himself but they do not know the struggle he had to endure.
The focus for us was averted to discussing mentors and the advice you receive when it comes to navigating your career.
Ozy: By the time we get to know about celebrities, artists actors and comedians, they are harvesting the fruits of their labour. What advice would you give young talent when it comes to the whole journey, especially those trying their hand at acting?
PT: I would tell them not to be ignorant. How can I put it? Look to those who came before you and learn from their experience. I know this industry and there are a lot of unseen pitfalls and they are steep. I would say, learn from our experiences. Look at what they did wrong and what they did right and create a path from that. You shouldn’t fall into the traps that caught up the ones who came before you.
I feel like a lot of our legends who came before me did us a disservice by making the industry as a whole look bad. And then there are the likes of Nameless and Wahu who have shown that there can be balance without drama. They are raising their family and are still relevant without unnecessary scandals. They are great role models.
The conversation has served up two great gems: the first being that fortune favours the brave and the second being that mentors and having role models is an important aspect of success. Afterall, forewarned is forearmed.
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