Name: Sonnia Gitome
Occupation: Actress, poet | Voice artist | women rights activist | locations scout | script writer.
Location: Nairobi Based
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Sonnia Gitome is an all rounded artist. Juggling between performance arts and bead making. When she is not on stage performing or out looking for a location shoot, she is mostly in the house designing my own or friends/ clients’ jewelry using African beads. I create my poetry from the world around me, from paper bags, to the needy, and mostly from love and pain.
Sonnia started her artistic journey through coincidence in the year 2007 when she got curious as to where the Kenya National Theatre was situated and when she and a friend went to look for it they were told it was at the Norfolk and they went right in only to discover that it was opposite the Norfolk hotel. They found ongoing auditions and she decided to try for a part . The group was transversing the larger kisii region to present set books in high schools. Her outspoken and noisemaking nature caught the eye of Alliwah David of Theatrix Arts Ensemble and he offered her a role. What she thought was her worst performance landed her several parts that she played for 3 months, one of the roles being the role of Salanio a character in the Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare. The story might sound cliché’ but out of that chance audition, Sonnia, the artist was born and has now come full circle to try my hand in script writing.
Since then she have worked with different productions like Heartstrings Kenya, as an actress, Fanaka arts also as an actress and the theatre company both as a membership manager and production assistant.
She have also done several radio advertisements for different companies like, KCB, pwani life, Samsung, Airtel, yu, and Coca-Cola. In addition, she has also recorded a kikuyu play titled rekee marie “.
She has involved herself in various projects like the vagina monologues as an organizer and performer, support women artists now (SWAN), a platform for female artists from all genres that comes together in the month of March to celebrate the female artist. World march of women Kenya, that aims to march until all forms of violence against women in the world comes to an end. she also wrote and performed poetry for the 2011 puppetry festival held at the Kenya National Theatre titled a young spirit, which was inspired by a young girl who was a victim of rape from her own father it was also supposed to be performed last year in several parts of U.S to celebrate UN international day of the child which is celebrated on 20th November.
She loves travelling meeting different people and cultures and that’s the reason she took up the challenge of a location scout and with 2 friends work as the location scouts for Adema an upcoming television series on KTN
Sonnia happens to be very passionate about women empowerment hence the reason why most of her poetry is about the woman and the girl child. One of her poems was published in the Kwani? 06 edition titled MAMA which was also inspired by a true story on Aljazeera TV. (see it below)
When I was a child, I watched as mama tilled the land with my new born brother on her back
I watched as she fetched water from the river….
As she prepared food for the family….
She took me with her everywhere……
Mama always sung as she worked and later she would plait my hair and tell me how long and beautiful it was growing.
“Be strong in life my child” she told me often
“Always turn to God for help” she said.
Now mama is gone……
I am left to do all that she did…
I am 11 years old…
I wake up as the rooster crows at 5am…
I prepare food for the family…
Prepare my brothers for school…
I till the land as mama did…
Fetch water from the river with mama’s gourd.
I have no one to plait my hair or tell me how long it is growing.
With sadness I watch as my brothers go to school,
And I long for it.
I desire to be educated…
I hunger to write my own name…
Father does not care about me…..
He says I am to be married to the chief soon….
I cry and plead with him, but he says it is my destiny.
I watch as my brother’s play with their friends and I too wish to have friends.
Let me be a child. Give me a chance to go to school and learn.
Allow me decide who to marry and when to get married…
Let me grow.
Why do you treat me so?
Why do you look down on me?
Because I am a girl?
Was I not moulded with the same clay as you?
Do my veins not run with blood as yours?
Am I not human?
Why must you discriminate against me?
I want to grow up!
I want to be my own person
My mission is to be an all rounded artist with a heart to help others who are starting out in the industry and also be a voice for the voiceless woman and girl child.
To grow into a positive example and role model to those aspiring to join the industry while at the same time, breaking my own set records.