In Swahili, there is a saying msanii ni kioo cha jamii, which loosely translates to an artiste is a role model in a society.
That comes with burdens and challenges. As a role model, one is always judged by the society on how he or she carries him/herself.
However, with the daily scrutiny and criticism from the public that comes with the celebrity status, many artistes have found it really bearing the burden of being role models.
Many celebrities have ended up being victims of cyberbullying because of their lifestyles.
On that score, comedian Mulamwah, and gospel artiste Jimmy Gait easily come to mind.
But one Avril, who has been in the showbiz industry for a decade now, she says as an artiste she doesn’t need to be anybody’s role model.
“I joined this industry not looking to be a role model per say, if what I do inspires you in a certain way with how I take my life, take it and learn from it. But I’m not in the industry to be anyone’s role model,” Avril says.
Avril, who started gaining fame as an upcoming artiste while she was a second year student at the University of Nairobi, also notes that over the years she has come to understand that society will always be judgemental and quickly draw conclusions on someone’s way of life.
She says, at first she used to care about society’s perception of her, but not anymore.
“I got into the limelight when I was 18 years old as a second year at Nairobi University when my career just started. So I literally grew up under public scrutiny. Through that journey I have been able to pick vital lessons here and there. Growing up under such scrutiny has taught me to just live my life, especially as a female artiste,” she says.
The mother of one, who is also an actress and brand influencer, says she came to the realisation of living her own life in her late 20s, and as such will always block any negativity thrown her way, especially on the social media space.
“As a female artiste in the limelight, the scrutiny, the comments, the remarks, the decisions you are supposed to be making as a woman will break you. You will get to appoint where you will question many things,” she says.
Avril also says when encountered with such negativity, she usually blocks it from her space and moves on swiftly with her life.