Tirath Padam is a Kenyan actor who doubles up as a hair stylist. He stars as Taufiq in Subira, a Kenyan feature film which will premiere later this month(November).
The thespian credits his Saint Mary’s School Nairobi as an institution, that helped him understand and solidify his love for acting and performance.
Tirath spoke to Buzz about his journey.
What was it that made you do this movie?
Originality and heart – the soul of Subira’s story felt timeless and deeply relatable. It is a beautiful metaphor of the human condition and life that captured me from the first time director Sippy Chadha narrated it to me; Subira’s little quest for self-discovery and adventure. Being part of a film with a rich cultural and society-bound context felt very right and almost divine.
Playing Robin Hood in a theatrical production Aperture Africa Productions recently, how different was that character compared to the one in the movie?
The difference is huge! Acting onstage was a physically demanding and challenging role – training in combat, archery and vocal training – but being Taufiq in Subira was emotionally and mentally stimulating, and demanding. It forced me to look within myself for true and honest emotions that I could portray realistically and delicately for the magic of cinema and film. Trust me, that was a mental journey I shall remember for the rest of my life.
Tell us about your character.
So, Taufiq Jan Mohammed is the son of a wealthy and demanding father. He struggles to find his voice under his father’s dominance. He is a modern Kenyan-Indian youth who works to further the family business and is introduced into the story for the purpose of an arranged marriage. He is nonetheless very cultured and respectful with the common mannerisms of a young, educated Muslim man living in Nairobi today, which makes his little rebellion in the grander story of an adventurous young Muslim woman the sweeter to watch.
Does the movie Subira in anyway hit home?
It delicately showcases parts of Kenyan culture that may not be fully visible to a newcomer in Kenya. It exposes the Kenyan-Indian and possibly interracial cultures. That’s the other fantastic thing about the film, it felt just like home and I couldn’t help but fall in love with it.
What other projects are you currently working on?
I am currently back on stage working on Aperture Africa’s new musical Cinderella, as Prince Topher, the charming love interest to Cinderella.
How would you describe yourself?
Too serious for my age, sometimes melancholic and always excited (or maybe too excited) about life in general. A lover of coffee, music and meaningful conversations with human beings. I am now really taking the time to take care of my overall wellness – physical and mental health – and loving the finer things in life.
What else do you do?
I love writing; I am looking forward to devoting my time and life to it in the near future. I am also a trained hair stylist and hair consultant and have been working my hours for the past three years cutting, colouring and styling hair for many.