Kenyan Entertainment

My Passion Had Begun

VQEE

By VQEE, 10 June, 2007

About VQEE! I was born in Kenya, a beautiful exotic land found in the Eastern part of Africa. I'm bred of two tribes; “Kamba” and “Kikuyu” two closely related (BANTU) tribes found in the Eastern and Central Provinces respectively. I grew up in the capital city of Nairobi, a cosmopolitan city with plenty to offer a beautiful setting where different cultures blend people of all walks of life meet and engage, a place with so much to offer different varieties of food, music, culture you name it.

I found myself exposed to so much. I remember as a young girl I loved playing all kinds of childhood games Kati, Shake, Rounders we would make up and learn different rhythms from the different tribes and cultures and sing and dance day and night. We would have singing and dancing competitions in church/school settings, recite poetry, traditional dance performances. I was so at home on stage I loved it!

My passion had begun then and it continued and soared. Even earning me a certificate for best Actress at the age of 14, kept on through my school years grabbing every chance I got to be on stage. It was after my college education that I made a conscious decision to be a performing artist, wasn't easy at first. Not in a society whose mindset is channelled towards specific careers, equalling success while passions such as music and dance considered hobbies, or pass times for the non-serious in life etc. etc.

I even doubted myself at times, for the longest time that tunnel for me was dark with no light in sight constantly facing rejection and discouragement. There was a time I thought that it was a worthless struggle that I should stop and focus on what the society expected of me, this struggle inside of me went on and on for a while. Meanwhile I would still go to the theatre everyday, auditions here and there, a few shows here, a few there, you know, this n that.

AND THEN! One day I was introduced to a famous Kenyan theatre company, then doors started opening, soon I was working with legendary theatre/musical directors, and then at the prestigious annual Mbalamwezi Awards 1997. I earned a special mention for my acting; a year later got a sponsorship to attend a dance exchange program at the CILTAD Agoro project in Cape Coast Ghana. An experience I won't soon forget.

I must say it was absolutely amazing for me on many levels. First of all, I experienced the tradition and culture that was obviously still a major part of the people there. I was privileged to participate in many festivals in Ghana and also at the MASA Festival in neighbouring Abidjan Cote D'ivoire. I learnt so much about the history of their dances and since it was an exchange program I also gave a little, and then lastly of course, its where I met the love of my life my husband; Claus Seest.

In the year 2000, I left for the United States and spent the next five years working with various theatre and stage artists on various projects. One such was (KALI MA) a ritual theatre experience that was produced by Emery Lauten, and which involved original poetry, dance, music and percussion. This was actually one of the richest experiences for me, because I was able to bring to the table elements of my own culture and fuse with new ones that I learnt. I was also on the artist roaster in the state of Iowa where I was involved in after school programs dance and music workshops.

I have now moved to Denmark where I must say my real musical journey has begun. I have been working together with Claus on my upcoming debut album which is a blended mix of various elements from different Worlds, different times, and involves both the modern and traditional old and new. A wonderful fusion that is sure to delight and that journey for me still continue with amazing prospects in waiting and I'm very excited about that.

I guess it's true that when you want something bad enough the Universe conspires to give it to you.

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