TV actress Celestine Gachuhi has revealed what it is like to be one of the most popular faces on Kenyan television.
Ms Gachuhi, who is famed for her starring role in the hit Swahili telenovela ‘Selina’, says she has encountered all kinds of fans, including ones that stalk her.
“I meet different kinds of fans. There are the polite ones, there are those who will just grab my hand, and those who will follow me around and stare without saying anything,” she says.
‘Selina’ added that such experiences are scary and have made it difficult for her to go to certain places freely.
“Sometimes it’s too late when I notice them. Like say I’m in a supermarket and it hits me that someone’s been following me for a while. That’s scary because when I’m running my own errands, I don’t think that I’m Selina.”
Gachuhi also revealed that she put her education on hold to play the lead role, Selina. She also hasn’t taken a proper vacation since the show’s production began in 2017.
“I can’t do this as a part-time job. This is what I do from Monday to Saturday. I’ve had to turn people down when they ask to meet on Sunday because that’s when I can rest and do my stuff,” she said.
Selina further revealed that some scenes on the show have broken her, so much so that she cried for days after filming was done.
She recalled a particular scene in season 2, where Selina was kicked out of the Mackenzie house.
“I felt so angry at Selina because I couldn’t understand why she was still letting this family (the Mackenzies) do this to her.”
The actress said she has learnt to cope with these heavier episodes by leaning on the people she loves.
“I call the people I love, and talking to them makes me come back from that place. But sometimes, I just sit silently in my own space, not thinking about anything.”
Celestine also noted the show has made her acting better. “As an actor, you need to be diverse. And Selina has many up and down moments. It has really enhanced how I view my acting, knowing I need to do better and better.”
Gachuhi is also a singer and hopes to revive her singing career once Selina ends.
“The song (‘Nena Nami’) was my starting point. I took a break but I’m coming back very soon.”