The curtain is just about to close on TLC ‘Next Best Presenter’ Search, with our very own battling it out among the finalists. “I still can’t believe that I was chosen…it feels unreal and totally unbelievable! I’m ready for the next phase,” says 25-year-old Charlie Karumi. He talks to Cheptoek Boyo about his quest
How did you learn about TLC’s search for its next African presenter?
I did not know that the completion was on, but a friend I work with knew about it and informed me. Last year, I wanted to join but missed the submission date. I was happy to hear they were doing it again. I shot my audition video and sent the clip. I forgot about it, then three weeks later, I got a call that I was among the 12 shortlisted. After that, I went to South Africa for the competition.
How was your experience?
The competition was hard, being among the top 12 of Africa’s best. Making it to top six and now the top three has boosted my confidence. I must have something to offer.
Between the two finalists, South Africa’s Carissa Kupido and Zimbabwe’s Karen Paida, who do you think is your biggest competition?
Carissa is a radio host and has a huge following in SA, while Karen does a lot of TV production and she is very popular. Carissa, I would say, is the main threat because of her massive following.
This is not your first gig on reality TV, since you made a debut on Season 2 of The Presenter on KTN. Tell us about that.
I did well. I was among the top eight. I was eliminated mainly because of my wardrobe. They were going for a more professional look, and for the most part, my wardrobe was casual. I learned from that and didn’t make the same mistake in TLC’s Next Great Presenter.
You are graduate of Strathmore University with Bachelor’s Degree in Business and IT. That’s quite a career change.
When I graduated, I sent my CV to a lot of companies but I did not get any feedback. When Spielworks Media Ltd was auditioning for their series Jane & Abel, I decided to give it a shot. I’d done a lot of stage plays in high school and to my surprise, I got the part. From there on, I decided to go with the flow and let the universe show me the way.
Other programmes and movies you have been featured?
Saints, Lies That Bind, Rush, Noose of Gold, Fundimentals, Afya Centre, #18 Pleasure Street, Brothers & Sisters, Just An Outside Shot and Burnt Forest.
Last year, I won a Kalasha award for Best Supporting Actor for my role in Fundimentals.
Any interest directing or producing?
No. I will stick to just being an actor because that is what I do best. I am also quite forgetful and being a producer or director, you have to think about all aspects of crew and production at the same time.
You are a vlogger. Tell us about your YouTube channel, Chromey.
I started it three years ago. Back then, I reviewed random things that happened throughout the week. Later, I changed it to a Vlog, that’s about documenting my life experiences, with a humorous twist.
So, what comes next after the show?
I would like to be a radio presenter. A lot of people who have inspired me have passed though radio, the likes of Fareed Khimani and Ryan Seacrest.
Always do the things you love.
What do you wonna tell Kenyans?
Vote, vote, vote and make me the next Africa’s Great Presenter.