If you walk into The Zumpini , a downtown restaurant famed for it’s coffee on a week day evening you will bump into Joshua Muthoka elatedly preparing and serving coffee to customers.
Joshua is a barista extern under the Creative Connekt Externship Project that is coordinated by Mr Sam Kairu , a photojournalist.
The 25 year old freelance stage actor at Sky Art Theater – Y.M.C.A. in Nyeri says , ” It’s not been easy trying to make it into professional stage acting with no real training.But it’s been a great opportunity performing for young learners.”
Since May 2016 , he has been part of the team at Y.M.C.A that performs high school set book – The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht. They have performed at Weithaga Boys , Iria Murai School in Embu , Kyevitho School in Machakos and Mathakwaini School among others . He narrates how tough it has been being a performing artist especially with no professional training and no consistent gigs for his team. It’s his passion for the arts that has seen him able to make ends meet from his craft.
Before trying out his hand in theater , he has been in the hospitality industry having worked for Tea Tot Hotel and Court Yard Inn , both in Machakos, between 2013 and 2015.
He has since been an active stage play performer up to date.
For him , joining the project is an extension of his professional training having undertaken a certificate in catering program in Machakos University in 2012.
He is optimistic that the externship will be a turn around for his career prospects as a barista.
“For now , i am on a break from stage play performances. I am channeling all my energy on being a barista. The experience has been phenomenal ,” he quips.
After his externship is over , he is hopeful that he will land a spot in a busy coffee franchise with the hopes of learning and gaining more practical experience in the craft.
” I will open my own coffee shop very soon ,” he beams.
He asserts that so far he has learnt how to prepare cappuccino , mocha , espresso and americano and is hopeful that by the end of the project period he will have learnt a lot more coffee types preparation and be set to kick off his next phase as a barista. He is deeply grateful to The Zumpini and Creative Connekt for this opportunity.
He encourages other young people to follow their dreams by continuously seeking out opportunities that improve their professional skills.