Singer Avril is a household name in Kenya. She is known as the face of the female celebrities in the Kenyan music scene, the icon of beauty, the woman after her own heart.
What sets her apart more is her sultry voice and energetic performances. She is the brains behind hits such as Yule Dame and Nikimuona.
If you still do not recognise her, think about the lady in Diamond Platnumz’s video for the song, Kesho. Yeah, that’s her – Judith Nyambura aka Avril. Avril comes across as cheery soul, a happy personality – that is why when she released a sad song, with an equally somber video ‘Uko’, eDaily wanted to know what is behind the song and in the life of our today’s WCW, Avril.
EDAILY: Is the song ‘Uko’ based on a true story?
AVRIL: In some way, yes. Almost everybody has experienced people who are not genuine and it was high time that I sang about real issues, which are a break from the lovey dovey, hype-filled stuff I often sing about.
Avril has experienced fake friends, she says. When her dad passed on, there were people she was counting on to support her, both friends and family. Yet they bailed on her when she needed them most. She says that you might think that you have a hundred friends, but when trouble strikes, you realise that you have only two, who are not even the people you expected would turn up.
About starring in a reality show
Despite being a Kenyan sweetheart, Avril is a closed person when it comes to her personal life. That is why this writer was surprised that she will be starring in a reality show – Queens of Nairobi.
“When my friend Thome Boomba approached me about the show, I was all aboard, but now that I think about it, I don’t know what I got myself into,” Avril says laughing.
I would also get scared about featuring in a reality show, because this planet knows no drama that a bunch of women thrown in front of a camera in the name of a reality show.
So should we expect a lot clawing, name-calling, weave-pulling from this reality show? Avril says she does not know the direction the reality show will take, but she promises that it will be classy and that even she, admittedly, hopes that nobody will try to pull her hair.
Seeing celebrities prancing about in shows, sometimes we forget that they are people who have real life experiences and can be a source of insight that we may never get anywhere else. Take Avril for instance, the fact that she broke her engagement with her then-fiancé could just be dismissed as yet another celebrity break-up and who’s next? Yet here is what Avril had to say about her broken engagement.
“I only want to get married once. I would not want to get married when I harbor doubts about my partner. It is better to have broken relationships than a broken marriage, then having to jump from one marriage to another.”
Avril says that she and her ex-partner were incompatible. After the break up she is taking things one day at a time. She is not in a hurry because she believes “one cannot hurry things that are best known to God”.
After all, she says, a lady should not run after men, it is the men who should seek out the ladies. So why did she stay that long with a person that she was obviously not compatible with? Avril says that sometimes you just get used to how things are that you do not want to let go despite the open signs that it is time to leave.
Of enduring cyber bullying
Avril has been a victim of cyber bullying. She has been trolled so many times that she has lost count. She has been trolled for acne, for photo-shopped nudes, for asking people not to troll others. If she were to write a book about trolling it would be a trilogy. The trolling debacle makes her so mad, and worse when in the recent past, a young lady Dana reportedly took her own life by jumping in front of a moving car after she was ruthlessly bullied on Facebook.
“I think the people who troll others are stupid, there is no better way to describe someone who gets their joy in bringing other people down and making other people feel demeaned. These people who hide behind 140 characters say to others what themselves cannot take. They are insecure, frustrated people who need a vent and when they find it they just go ham.”
So what does she think about Jimmy Gait breaking down on national television? Avril says that even she, in the past, broke down on radio and television; in one of Kobi Kihara’s interviews. What people do not realise, she says, is that everyone has an elastic limit after which they snap, everybody has a breaking point and even celebrities are human and can be affected by what is said about them.
So how can the trolling culture be remedied? Avril says that trolling comes about when a society is frustrated. “Everybody ought to think before they type, what if they were on the receiving end of the insults?”
She adds that if people have to troll someone, they should come for people like her who are in the limelight because she has developed a thick skin to repel cyber bullying.
“What they should not do, however, is to go for innocent people (like Dana who took her life) who do not have a thick skin against cyber bullying.”
Can we take a selfie?
Avril would never refuse to take a selfie with a fan. All the same, she thinks that even celebrities reserve the right to say no to selfies.
“At times it is justified to say no. You have just had a thirty hour flight, you are tired, your clothes are a mess… Why should you not say no to selfies? I think it is okay to just ask guys if they can take the selfie later.”
So the next time you are listening to ‘Uko’ and draining your reserve of tissues, just know that Avril is ok.