Major milestones by women.
Today the world celebrated the International Women’s Day. In the recent past, there have been major milestones by women in the music industry. Coincidentally, today happens to be the first day for Africa Nouveau, one of Africa’s premier festivals owned and run by power woman Muthoni Drama Queen.
One of the most famous films from Kenya is Rafiki. The controversial film was a woman-led initiative, directed by award winning Wanuri Kahiu. Sam Mugatsia of Yellow Light Machine acts as lead actress, a role for which she has won several awards. To commemorate the day, we reached out to three women who are making strides in the music industry for their input.
Okinda Andal, Vocalist, Gravitti
There is no science that could support the notion that creativity belongs or is done better by a certain gender. I mean creativity is just that. However, art is viewed differently. It baffles me that being in or having an all-female band is deemed worth mentioning. It is one of the selling points for the amazing beasts that back Beyonce during her performances.
Whether it is the difference in anatomy, talent for a woman never seems to be enough. We still get into studios where producers start wishing the microphones are their privates because of how close our lips get are to the mics. They still want us to dress a certain kind of way so that “aside from your voice they will have something to look at.”
Careers remain at risk of being snuffed out because some man in power cannot take a no. Our male colleagues in the industry, whether in jest or seriously, actually advise us to sleep with one person or the other for the sake of success.
Wendy Kemunto, Musician
I am a proud woman in this day and age because more and more women are climbing up the ladder. More women are becoming vocal about what they feel and what they want. It’s very encouraging when I look around a room and see more sisters sharing the same journey as I am.
Also, when big corporations like Coke Studio start shining the spotlight on women in music, it shows there is progress in the society and I believe this is just the beginning. However, we still have a long way to go in terms of equal gender representation in government and other institutions. The future for sure is FEMALE.
DJ Shock Africa, Founder ADJ (EA).
Over the years, women voices are being taken more seriously and their input is valued. For example, the government and private sector respect my input as a community leader when I get to speak on behalf of DJs.
More women are also stepping up to be entrepreneurs and there are more women-led mentorship programs in the industry.
Listen to our #InternationalWomensDay Playlist made up of 50 songs by amazing Kenyan women.
Last updated on 12-03-2019: Editorial