• How can you describe yourself in a summarized manner?
I am a storyteller who loves telling stories. I have been a bookworm all my life. I love finding out new things and sharing them as well.
• When did you pen your first independent piece (away from school work)?
My family (extended) used to have an annual family magazine. I used to write pieces for that. My first published poem though was in the first Young Nation. I wrote a piece on a street boy.
• What inspires your writing?
The things I am passionate about. Justice, love, gender issues, etc. I write a lot about situations in which victims may feel powerless and feel they have no voice. I speak for the voiceless.
• Apart from writing what else do you do?
I work for a travel agency Uniglobe Northline Travel as the Communications Executive. I am also a Masters Communication student (doing thesis) at Daystar University.
• Do you have any A.K.As/stage names?
Potentash/ Ray Ray
• What do you think is man’s greatest invention?
Can I say pen and paper? It has changed the landscape of the human world by giving people knowledge and inspiring their imagination to innovate. There is nothing as good as being able to put your thoughts or sketches on paper (or computer).
• Who would you term as a Kenyan hero? Why?
If I gave the typical answer it would be Wangari Maathai. She is a heroine for standing for what she believed it. But if I was to give a broad answer it would be all the Kenyan mothers out there hassling to make a better life for their children. Mothers run the world. They are my heroes especially my mother.
• The world ends tomorrow. What do you do till then?
I would probably hang out with my family who I love and also spend that time eating as well. I love food and what would be better than spending the last day of your life with your family enjoying their company and some good food.
• What’s your furthest memory backwards?
A birthday party. I was 3. It was fun. I spent a lot of time with my dad. He died when I was 10 so the times I spent with him are precious memories.
• If you were a cartoon character, which would that be?
So many to choose from. I love cartoons. Generally it would be Batman. A man of justice, intelligent, has a lot but cares for the less fortunate.
• Three words to describe your brain?
Creative, Innovative, Curious
• If you were to get a slap for every moment you wished you did something differently how sore would you be?
A bit sore. I have regrets but some of those regrets have led to some of my biggest triumphs so I can’t complain.
• That song that never gets boring to your ears?
The Beat Goes On by The Whispers.
• What do you fancy most: writing or performing (poetry)?
Writing. I love to write. I do not like to perform- I prefer acting.
• What is that thing you did as a kid you wish you still would?
Play. I miss the innocence of childhood and being able to play without any worries apart from homework. Growing up is overrated.
• What do you think of the Kenyan creative and artistic industry?
It is growing. There are a lot of great artists and writers out there. This is the perfect time to be an artist/writer in Kenya. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
It is a time of incredible freedom but it is also possible to misuse that freedom. It is important to use this season of grace to bring out the best we have to offer. We have gifts which we can use to change the world and our communities. But we can also be selfish and not leave a legacy worth looking back at. This is a time when dreams can be chased, money can be made and names can be known. The question to ask is “what kind of legacy will I as a creative leave the world?” Will I be remembered for my positive contributions or for the negative things I did?
• Who’s that character you wish you’d pull out of the screen/book and elope with?
Batman of course. He has always had a special place in my heart.
• Any random question you’d like to ask the world?
They say that a cockroach is the only organism that would survive a nuclear war then why is it possible to kill it with a cockroach killer?
Rayhab’s featured poetry (in case you missed it this past week)
Her blog is POTENTASH