Get To Know Abigail Arunga

• How can you describe yourself in a summarized manner?

Loud.

• When did you pen your first independent piece (poem or story – apart from school work)?

Gah. It was too long ago to remember. I’ve always been that kid. That adult. I write about everything.

• What inspires your writing?

Everything. Mostly, beautiful experiences that move me – a sunset. A heartbreak (yes. It can be beautiful. Or spur beautiful poetry)

• Apart from writing what else do you do? (Hehe we know how that question feels like)

Oh Lord.
Well.
I live off my writing.
So…other than that…sleep and fuck. Lol I kid. Or do I?

• Why don’t you use a stage name?

I do. You just don’t know it. Mwahahahahahaha
It isn’t really a pen name. It’s a pseudonym that everyone knows.
But the real reason is that I don’t perform so I don’t really need a pen name…

• What do you think is man’s greatest invention?

The American Dream. Everyone buys into that lie.
The toaster. Enough said.
And the book.

• Who would you term as a Kenyan hero? Why?

Wow, really guys? Any Kenyan who’s still alive. Surviving this place isn’t easy. Historically? Anyone who paved the way for us to be here. Mboya. Pinto. Kariuki. Wa Menza. Maathai. Ogola…they changed where they were into what it can be today.

• The world was to end tomorrow, what would you do till then?

Eat. Sleep. Watch one last episode of Two Broke Girls. And…refer to above. Hehe. Call my mother. Ok, fine, and my father. My family.

• What’s your earliest memory?

Drawing a round-bellied stick figure in pre-school.

• If you were a cartoon character, which one would it be?

Any of the ones that are shape shifters. I love cartoons. Do I have to pick just one? My top three would probably be The Mask, the newt from Ned’s Newt and Freakazoid. Runners up, Batman from any version. Ok most versions.

• Three words to describe your brain?

Densely populated. Chronically under-serviced. (sorry!)

• What is that song that never gets boring to your ears?

Satisfy my Soul by Bob Marley. Liberian Girl by Michael Jackson. Tracks of my tears by Smokey Robinson.

• What is the most unforgettable thing that has ever happened to you on stage?

Um…I am not on stage enough for unforgettable things to happen to me. However, in my past life as a child actor, I remember the one and only time I got a standing ovation was when I had about 6 lines in a play. I was fantastic. I’m just saying.

• What is that thing you did as a kid you wish you still would?

Oh my gosh! I was a much smarter and more interesting child than I am adult. I was great at Chemistry (that would have really helped my high school career). I was a great actress (now? I break screens). I was curious. I was good at languages. Now…not so much.

• What do you think of the Kenyan creative and artistic industry?

That it is growing, which is good. That it needs more standards.

• Who’s that character you wish you’d pull out of the screen/book and elope with?

Easy. Aladdin. Any day.

• Any random question you’d like to ask the world?

How is it that our standards for writing are so low, while gutter press and so called columnists with terrible grammar and kaka ideas find such a large and willing audience? Ai. Make the right people famous, abeg.

Abigail Arunga

Abigail Arunga writes on her site: Akello and is also a columnist on Daily Nation. She has previously published a poetry collection titled Akello and plans on releasing her next book on February 2016.

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