Robert Agengo is without a doubt one of the most top billed actors in the film industry. In over 10 years, the actor has risen from acting in high school set books to starring in some major productions such as ‘Kona’, ‘Makutano Junction’, ‘Changes’, ‘Mali’, ‘Papa Shirandula’ among others.
He is also the founder of ‘Men Against Weaves’ and ‘Too Much Make-up’ movements.
He spoke to Mediamax about his illustrious career and the ‘controversial’ movements.
You have been an actor for 11 years now. How can you sum up your experience?
Well, I have been through a lot in the last 10 years. I got into theatre in 2004 and took part in school literature plays. We traveled all over the country for performances and had a lot of fun, until the end of 2005. I cut down travelling and commenced acting plays at the theatre. That is when TV came in and here I am today. It has been a bitter-sweet voyage.
The comedy drama, Taking the Flak, on BBC was your international film debut. How did you nab the role?
Celebrated actor and casting director, Lenny Juma, was casting for Taking the Flak. I went for the auditions and man, it was an amazing experience. I aced it and seized the character of a rebel leader. The pilot show was filmed in January 2007 in Nakuru with the subsequent episodes being shot in Arusha, Tanzania in 2008. I got the chance to work with great movie stars and talented Kenyan actors.
Local TV Drama series Mali portrays you as a humorous guy. Is that who you are in real life or a switch over purely for the script?
In Mali or acting in general, the script is always the guideline to how one builds their character and role. However, I wouldn’t say it is far from my nature as a person, away from TV or theatre.
You double up as a boxer. Were you inspired to get into it by the screen series Kona?
I would say it’s the other way around. I had been doing boxing before and it is one of the reasons I landed a part on the programme. I love it as a sport and enjoy doing it on the side.
Why did you start the movement, Men Against Weaves and Too Much Make-up?
Men against weaves and too much make-up, is an initiative that is creating awareness and discouraging weaves and lots of make-up. We want women to believe they are more beautiful just the way they are.
But in some way, isn’t that policing women’s bodies. Why does it bother you if a woman wants to glam up?
I feel that anybody putting on weaves is lying to me, and they just look unreal. Why would anyone want to wear a mask instead of embracing his or her natural self? We want women to know that they do not have to hide under make-up. We appreciate them as they are.
The play, The Perfect Wedding, is premiering this week and you are on it. Tell us about it?
It’s about an appalling situation where a groom wakes up on his wedding morning only to find a strange girl in bed beside him yet his bride-to-be is on her way. She is an extremely attractive girl whom, in the depths of his post stag-night hangover, he can remotely remember. It’s a sort of comedy full of drama and humour.
Who do you play in the theatrical?
I am the best man who finds himself in a compromising situation. I have to be the strange girl’s boyfriend despite being in a relationship. There is more to come, not just in this play.