Ruth Matete: Can she win TPF5?

Saturday July 7 2012

Photo\BONIFACE MWALII  Ruth Matete during one of her performances at Tusker Project Fame 5.

Photo\BONIFACE MWALII Ruth Matete during one of her performances at Tusker Project Fame 5. 

Who is Ruth?

I’m an only child from a single family. My mother died when I was eight years old and my dad has been the sole parental figure in my life ever since.

I’ve just completed my diploma course in communication at Daystar University and I’m waiting to graduate next year.

How and when did you first get involved in music?

I didn’t know I could sing until I was eight. It was actually my dad who discovered that I had the talent and began encouraging me to pursue music.

My singing debut was at the International Fellowship Church in Nairobi’s Buruburu estate. I’ve been at it ever since.

You seem to be daddy’s girl, tell us more about your father.

My father has been a great influence and source of motivation for me. He is a handsome and talented actor who doubles up as a freelance media practitioner.

He acts as Mr Mwambu on the local drama series Mali which airs on NTV. He’s not exactly a good guy on TV.

I rarely watch the show because I dislike his character but I usually help him read and practise his scripts every now and then. He also does voice-overs and ads for various media houses.

How did you end up on Tusker Project Fame 5?

I’ve watched every season of TPF since the show’s inception but I never at any point imagined myself being part of it in any way. I guess I was scared of trying out such a big competition because of the fear of losing.

I’m totally scared of losing. But when I finally opted to try it out this season, I vowed to give it my all and hope for the best.

Do you regret the decision?

Well, I’m still here. So far so good.

How would you describe your experience in the academy thus far?

It hasn’t been easy. Spending each and every day with people you are unfamiliar with can be quite demanding. Everyone tries to show their best personality but as time goes by it becomes impossible to hide one’s true nature. And that’s when tension rises.

How have you handled such encounters while in the academy?

I had my differences with one contestant, Allan, who has since been evicted. It reached a point where I just couldn’t take it any longer and I poured all the anger and pent up frustrations.

We had a bit of a confrontation but I’m glad it happened. I needed to do it so badly. Afterward, we sat down and sorted our differences amicably and that was the end of that.

What’s the most significant lesson you’ve learnt over the past few weeks you’ve been training?

No one knows it all. When I first auditioned for TPF, I thought I had everything it takes to take home the prize but I soon realised that being a musician means a lot more than knowing a high note from a low one.

My biggest hurdle has been overcoming stage fright. Building enough courage to perform in front of a large audience has been one of the most important lessons I have learnt so far. I’m yet to completely master my way around it though.

Do you think you are on the track to winning the top prize?

That’s a tricky question. I can’t say I’m certain but I’m doing my best. The thing is, just about everyone I ever thought would win the past editions of Tusker Project Fame hasn’t done so.

With the exception of Alpha in TPF 4, all my predictions have always been way off the mark. I hope to I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

What will you do with the prize money if you do win?

Gosh, I would be so happy. Ten per cent would automatically go to God as tithe. Then I would buy a car, change my entire wardrobe and figure out what to do with the rest.

Who do you consider your biggest threat amongst the remaining contestants?

Samantha. I wouldn’t be surprised if she won since I can’t seem to find any fault in her performances. She’s good.

Many past winners of TPF are still struggling to make it in the industry. How do you plan to break that jinx if you win?

I know a lot of people out there would be looking up to me and I wouldn’t want to let them down. My next immediate step would be to put out a quick album while my fame is still fresh.

After that I would ensure I keep people on their toes with consistent releases.

What would you rate as your best performance so far?

It would have to be my rendition of Beyonce’s Best thing I Never Had a couple of Sundays back.