Blessing Lung’aho: From an accountant to a storyteller
“I’ve been acting in plays since primary school and when I attended high school drama is pretty much all I did,” says Lung’aho
Growing up in the family of academicians, a mother who is a Professor of Literature and his late dad who was an accountant almost sealed his professional fate to follow the footsteps of his dad. Blessing Lung’aho was destined to become an accountant, if it were for his parents’ wish.
However, accounting was not the love of Lung’aho, who is a last born in a family of four. Despite having studied it at the university, his heart was in film and television.
Seemingly, he is living his dream as he commands attention in several local TV shows and infomercials as well as at the international level. He started his TV career on a KBC show called Makazi, then moved to Citizen TV on a show called Santalal that featured the Nigerian superstar Desmond Eliot. He is currently playing Barry Blackheart, a spoilt rich boy with an attitude problem, on Citizen TV’s Mother-in-law.
He has also featured in one of the latest Kenya short horror movies, Torture.
His star in film started shining in his childhood while still in primary school where he would take part in skits and recitals.
“I’ve been acting in plays since primary school and when I attended high school drama is pretty much all I did (or remember doing), so films were always a dream to be achieved one day,” he says.
He got his first ‘serious’ job in film in 2012 when he got street casted by an advertising casting agent called Nguta and since then, he never looked back.
In an exclusive interview with Filamu Kenya’s Francis Muli, Lung’aho reveals that he is also working on a pilot project called ‘Mine” that will air locally, but would not divulge details due to contractual agreements. “Currently I’ve just finished filming a horror film called Nope coming to cinemas soon. I am also on an online show titled, This is life,” he says.
Internationally, he has shot an advert for Cocacola in South Africaas well as a Dairy Best commercial in Uganda. Lung’aho also featured on a Carlo Rossi advert in Malaysia and recently did the movie, Dominos in Rome, Italy.
But what has been his driving force in the industry? “My driving force is my decade-long career as an actor. Now that I have that one kid inside me to whom this was just a pipe dream, she can’t allow me to give less than 100 percent,” he quips.
Lung’aho looks up to great Kenyan actors like Allan Oyugi, Oliver Litondo and Raymond Ofula, who have been able to live all their lives entirely on film.
To Lung’aho, every Monday has been his best day, as he puts it. “My best moments are being able to wake up on Mondays and going to work. It is very hard to be a working actor in our industry. It makes me feel very blessed, just like my name suggests,” he smiles.
When asked about his worst moment in his career, he interjects, “I’m a very positive person so I don’t dwell too much on negative moments. I always approach them as a challenge or a lesson.”
Quite an optimistic man, he believes that the Kenyan film industry is on the right track, only facing a bottleneck of limited resources, otherwise they would be ‘shooting in the moon’.
Lung’aho opts to keep his private life very separate from his career, so that people do not mistake his career for his life. He is married, though not yet blessed with children. During his free time, he likes watching movies and playing chess.
If he was not an actor or an accountant, Lung’aho says he would be a writer. “Telling stories is my thing,” he says.
On his advice to upcoming artistes, he says, “My advice to upcoming talents is that you should never ever give up, it’s hard and will always get harder. But if this is your dream, protect it with all you have, never give up because anything is possible.”
On his parting shot, he requests, “Follow me on Instagram @blessing_Lungaho for more updates on my upcoming projects.