Real Dad Interview : Kwame Nyong’o, the Creative Designer!
Tell us about yourself
Which 3 things would you like the MumsVillage audience to know about you?
I love ugali and sukuma wiki, was lucky enough to go to Jamaica and I have a passion
for making things.
What is your occupation?
I’m a creative designer, I mainly do illustration like children’s books, animation, also
some film work.
We like Numbers…
How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
Three kids!, ages 6, 3 and 1.
How many diapers do you think you’ve changed?
How many selfies/videos of your kids do you take in a week?
Now on to Other Fun Questions
How did becoming a Dad change your personality?
Hopefully I became more responsible. It’s helped me be more focused, make decisions easier and faster.
We know that a lot of parents strive for balance. What does balance mean to you and
I try and balance professional/money making life with family life. I think its really important to be balanced in that sense. So every day, no matter what demands work put on me, I spend some time with the kids. Whether that’s meals, bathing, chatting in the car going to school or just horsing around and playing, I think its important to spend time with them especially when they are young.
What do you do to unwind and recharge?
Doing things that don’t involve phones or computers! Like playing music, my cello or djembe, playing with the kids, meditation, travel, visiting friends and family.
What is the best thing about raising a child in Kenya?
The variety of lifestyles, people and environments they can experience, from the high end malls, to the traditional thatched roof huts. From the amazing Indian ocean to the beautiful Lake Victoria. From the nomadic tribes, to the bustling city dwellers, we’re lucky to have such diversity in Kenya for our kids to experience.
How did you choose your kid(s)’ name (s) and what do they mean?
First born, Legend – Means what it means! My moms ideas and she had a patient with that name and we loved it. Second born, Lakota. A Native American tribe know for their friendliness. We were a safari across South Dakota where the Lakota are from when were inspired to name him that. Turns out he’s a pretty friendly chap too. Third born, Sayari. Means ‘planets or solar system in Kiswahili. My wife and I met whilst creating an animated films called Sayari Yetu. We figured would be a nice girls name if we ever had a girl. So there you go.
Share your tips with others
What are the top 3 kids places for fun in your neighbourhood?
Natare Swimming Pool, The Hub, Ololua Nature trail.
Which activities do you regularly engage in for recreation with your family?
Playing instruments, playing games outside, reading storybooks.
It takes a village. Who are your go-to people incase of anything?
My in-laws, cousins, neighbours, schoolteachers.
Your Nostalgia of the Past and Hopes for the Future
In what way do you hope the workplace will be different for your child?
I hope the workplace will be more about developing and using skills rather that about purely making money. I feel like there is too much focus on money nowadays and not enough on the actual good or services being rendered.
Do you think your job will exist when your child is your age (why or why not)?
I would hope so, I feel society needs creatives for design, entertainment, communication and more.
What is the one thing or experience you never had that you want for your child?
Hmm, cant think of anything important that I feel I never got…kudos to my folks!
And on the flipside, what is the one thing or experience you wish your child could have from your childhood that they can’t?
What is the most annoying interview question you’ve been asked that you’re glad we didn’t?
Hmmm…why did move back to Africa! I get that a lot when I’m in the US. So many misconceptions about life in Africa, people have little idea that life is also sweet here!
In what ways is your parenting style similar to your Father? In what ways is it different?
I think similar in that I like playing with the kids, joking around. I think different in that I’m not as kali lol. My Dad was kali!
Make sure you check out the African stories in the 3 part series of Children’s books by Kwame.