Renowned festival curator, Muthoni Drummer Queen, once spent her entire paycheque on a concert ticket.
The year was 2004, around April, and dancehall star Sean Paul was in town for a Smirnoff experience, and Muthoni drummer queen wasn’t going to miss it come hell or high water.
Her salary at the time was Sh4,000, just enough to buy two tickets to the show and despite her mother’s objection, she poured her cash into it. Securing a ticket for herself and her brother, she spent her last dime watching the show that changed her life.
“It was worth every penny. If I had more money, I would have gladly spent it on that show. Everything about the show – from the music, props, costumes, the dancer choreography, and the lighting – blew my mind away,” she says.
Having founded East Africa’s biggest music festival that has withstood the test of time, Muthoni admits that her engine runs on passion. With an audience-centric approach, she curates an experience that is measured to fit every single person that walks into her venues. From the venue, event layout, and the line-up to the date of the event, no detail is too tiny to warrant her full attention. Her time at St Mary’s High School opened her eyes to the many segments in music production and stage performances.
“The Sean Paul gig was the first time I had seen all of the different sectors of music I had been taught at St Marys aligned all in one stage and it was perfect. I knew at that point that this was what I wanted to do,” she says.
She continued to pursue her music and despite trials and challenges over the years, she managed to record an EP. Developing of Blankets and Wines in 2008 with the help of her friends, she has grown it into Africa’s premier festival. It was initially set as a platform for the promotion, celebration and exposure of emerging live Kenyan music. The monthly event progressively evolved from a platform showcasing contemporary live Kenyan music into an Africa-wide, multi-disciplinary platform.
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