Stephen Opondo, popularly known as Atito in the ‘Classmates’ TV show, is an actor, businessman, visual effects artist, and an aspiring politician. He talks about why he decided to juggle between trades.
Who is Stephen Opondo is off screen?
Stephen Opondo is a loving and caring husband, a father of three and a Christian. I started acting when I was in secondary school where we did short skits. From there, I took part in acting gigs in church before I got a bigger platform to showcase my talent.
At what point did you discover you are into comedy?
It sounds funny and weird but one day, I was resting at home when I remembered working with the crew at Pasua where we did street pranks on residents. I started laughing all by myself. That was when I realised I could take this comedy business seriously.
Many comedians and artists are now into social media, why have you not ventured into the online platforms?
There are indeed many comedians who have built a social media following and are doing great. I can’t quite say I have not ventured into it. I am behind the scenes creating content for different artists who perform and share them on different platforms.
You have been featured by other comedians in their online platforms, when should we expect your own content where you are the main actor?
I’m working on something unique, not something everyone has already seen. I want to produce content that will be out of the box. Something will be out very soon.
You studied 3D animation and visual effects in campus, how are you making use of those skills?
I’m a visual effects and 3D animator artist with professional training. It is one of the fields that is yet to be fully explored in Kenya. I’m working on becoming one of the pioneers who incorporate these skills in my work.
Between online and TV platforms, which is fairer in terms of payments to actors?
I really cannot pick. Both platforms pay depending on the quality of the content and who the client is.
How do some actors juggle acting on multiple platforms or channels? It seems exhausting.
Yes, it does get exhausting at some point, especially if there is no proper plan on how to meet one’s goals. However, for full-time actors, it may become challenging when one only focuses on acting as their single source of income. It is the sad reality that the industry does not offer all actors financial safety.
Other than acting, what else does Stephen Opondo do for a living?
Apart from acting, my wife and I have a business. We import cars from Japan, Korea, and the UK for both high- and low-end clients.
What don’t people know about you?
That I’m an author, I have written a book called “Within”. It’s a gripping tale set in the African missionary era. I published it in 2013 and can be found on Amazon. I’m also vying for an MCA seat in Umoja II ward in the forthcoming election.
How do actors solve team conflicts?
By focusing on behaviour and incidents, not on personalities. We should also support and encourage each other by identifying the root of the conflict.
Would you advise parents to consider acting as a serious career for their children who show talent?
Definitely. If we start nurturing the talent at a tender age, it will develop better and the government can take it seriously.
Your parting shot?
I have come to learn that patience pays. Your time will come no matter the stage you are at. Take every step as a learning opportunity.