Jeff Anthony is a novelist , a Big Brother Africa 2 Kenyan representative and founder of the Ultra modern state-of-the-art facility Jeff’s Fitness Centre.
- What role did you play in Big Brother Africa, like does this has to relate with any change in the society?
I was the Big Brother Africa 2 Kenyan representative. Big Brother Africa is the most popular television show in the continent with a daily audience of 25 million viewers. I was the sole Kenyan representative chosen amongst a rigorous and very competitive audition process that included over 10 thousand applicants at the Jacaranda hotel in Westlands Nairobi. 12 countries had representatives in the show. Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, Malawi, Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa.
The show is not necessarily based on playing a particular role in society, it’s simply a reality television concept developed by Endemol Productions and produced at Sasani Studios in Ransburg in Johannesburg South Africa. I represented my country and also used the opportunity to market and promote my first novel which had been published by Trafford Holdings in Victoria Canada 6 months earlier.
- About Jeff’s Fitness Centre, what inspired you to come up with it? When did it start or who inspired you and whats unique about it?
When I was in Big Brother Africa, I continued with my daily routine of working out every morning at 4am next to the house porch. Since I left Big Brother Africa, due to my physique and my inclination as a fitness fanatic, everyone I met commended my muscular physique and inquired about Fitness and the most commendable places to exercise. Numerous ladies also requested me to be their personal trainer. The exposure and attention was an opportunity glaring at me. I wrote a very detailed and comprehensive business plan with a precise operational timeline, a three year projection, financial plan, a unique value proposition and marketing strategy. I started marketing the business plan to banks and lone sharks and after a few years I acquired a loan. I then built an ultra modern facility with a cardiovascular room, weight room and aerobic studio.
A.Which novels have you covered? eg, names and about what?
My creative writing passion commenced when I was 14, years old with a pen and an old exercise book. Through my high school years I would create structure and blueprint stories characters and events that brought up miniature novels that in turn. I hoped would be picked up by a local publishing firm and bring me to fame and wealth.
My first novel was Tales of the Unexpected, a 32 page story about a teenage aspiring footballer who later on had to choose between staying home with a girlfriend he was be besotted, or honor a call for trials by a professional football club in Europe.
Later, the second novel was Illicit Engagements a torrid story about the pain a naive jobless female character undergoes while trying to make an ends in the conniving streets of Nairobi.
Both novels were turned down by Zimbabwean publishing company Staunton Publishers, in 1999. At that time I was living in Harare.
The rejections unlike most came with great advice that aided my growth as an author and applauded some of the great creative skills I had developed during the budding experience. I also learnt how to use dialogue and leave it only for culminating moments within my story therefore giving the story greater effect of continuous development.
As I kept on, my determination and ambition grew through the pain and hunger I had developed, to succeed in writing. The pen and paper became an escape from the xenophobia I experienced in Harare. I grew from a short story writer, by subtly analyzing and contrasting characters faced with the same dilemma, into a full fledged novelist.
As I went on, I learned how to compile a story, let my creative genius flow, plot forming, character delineation, English prose writing, speed writing and work without intermission to accomplish the depth of a story.
I would then advance and create a story line and work on the body structure which was the most exciting part of writing since the ideas poured out freely and instantly. Thereafter, I laid out the chapters in short sentences, a part I passionately referred to as the blueprint, but which some vintage writers referred to as the innocuous tricks of the writing trade. Then came the most laborious part, which was the actual writing.
In 2006, after two years of researching and writing my first full fledged mystery novel, Religion is Fiction was published by Canadian publisher Trafford Holdings.
It was a story about Tumisang Motaung, A South African female teenager engulfed in a drug world in Jo’burg, who ends up escaping in a scintillating road trip to Kenya and comes head on against Wambui Kariuki, an incorruptible Criminal Investigating Officer with a similar painful past to her opponent.
- What are the new things have you learnt and how has the pandemic affected your field?
- On the fitness end…all fitness facilities were closed from March 2020 to July 2020 along with churches, bars and restaurants Therefore fitness fanatics like myself who have numerous clients had to be creative and engage clients on trips and outdoor activities like out of town boot camps, morning outdoor jogs and field group workouts and stretches
I also hosted a morning 10 minute workout segment on KTN life and style show.
- You seem to be very busy, how do you balance work and family.
I’m single, I don’t have a wife and kids. I’m effectively contributing to population reduction.