Talk about Patrick Oketch and no one will know whom you are talking about, but when you mention Charlie of Mother in Law, everyone will want to chip in something. You may have been wanting the real man behind the alcoholic mother's boy character he portrays in Mother-in-law, what makes him tick, his ups and downs, likes and dislikes-if he got haters, his ambitions...
Patrick vs Charlie:
I have come to accept Charlie as my other name, even on social media, you'll find me using Charlie mainly because that's what most of the people are used to. The Kenyan audience doesn't know the actors by their real names but the screen names; take for instance Mzee Ojwang'-do you know his real name?
Before the stage:
Before I got into acting, I worked as a trained teacher. (He doesn't disclose the name of the school). I taught in Kayole for a while before venturing into the theatre scene, and now the TV.
People do recognise me quite often, on the streets and all. But its their reaction that matter. Some stop and say Hi, which is a good thing. But there are those who love creating a scene. You'll find a mama with her kids stop you and say, 'Hie, my kids say that they know you. Then she turns to the kids and ask them, 'Whom did you say he is.' And the kinds are like 'Charlieeeeeee.'
There are a lot of talented Kenyan actors in the industries. I wouldn't name just one name, but I find Catherine Kamau (Celina Mitego of Mother-in-Law) and Mkamzee Mwatela exceptionally talented.
I have been doing a lot of writing. At the moment I'm working on some animation and action scripts. I've also been writing for Mother-in-law for slightly over a year now and as you can see-the show keeps getting better and better.
Action films have a lot of potential here in Kenya, our major setback is the lack of proper equipment. With the ongoing fight against the Alshaabab militia, don't you think producing a film on the same would make a major blockbuster?
I have starred in a number of films as well as plays. The theatre thing was my thing long before I got into TV, that was nearly 5 years ago. Though I'm popularly known as Charlie from Mother-in-law, I've also starred in a couple of other award winning films like Captive of Nakara.
My son is already following my foot steps.