Kenyan Inspiration

Diva Discovery

Hottensiah Muchai

 

By Hottensiah Muchai, 26 November, 2009

Hottensiah a twenty-five year old has been deeply involved in the Entertainment industry in Kenya for the past seven years. She is currently pursuing her degree in 'Communication Science at the University of South Africa (UNISA).' She is certified in Information Technology Stage 1 & 2 from Augustana College in Nairobi. Starting off as an actress with the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation in the highly acclaimed Radio drama, 'Radio Theatre,' that is broadcasted all over Africa. She also does voice over's and jingles in the station and for the local advertising agencies. Hottensiah has also been involved in the following television and theatre productions:

 

2005-2006 Films / Movies

  • Semester: Written and Directed by Benjamin Odour (Infinity School Of Media)
  • Clean Hands: Kaza Moyo Productions
  • Kikulacho: Directed by Chieph Public Noisemakers

 

2007-2008 Plays

  • Lwanda Magere: Written and Directed by Eric Wainaina
  • Looking For Dedan: Written by Keith Pearson
  • The Theatre Company: Directed by Elijah Kahara Kenya Film Commission

 

Television Programmes

  • Vitimbi - 2006: Kenya Broadcasting Corporation
  • Intrukalass - 2003: Nation Television

 

Hottensiah has organised various events including the Ibiza 2008 talent search where she was also selected to be part of the judging panel.

She is also one of the leading karaoke hostess & equipment provider in the country and organises karaoke shows for members of 'Diva Discovery.' An organisation she founded in October 2007, that aims to empower and equip the young and talented women realise, initialise and maximise her full potential in the arts. Especially create a society in which young women from rural marginalised and urban informal settlements, have a platform access to nurture, develop and build on their talents effectively.

Hottensiah has been an emcee for Mr & Miss University 2004, Miss Nanyuki 2008 at the Sportsman Arms Hotel, and major karaoke shows at the Hilton Hotel, Laico Regency, Zebra Lounge, Pitcher & Butch, Velvet Restaurant and Red Tape & Ibiza Restaurant. She is currently training potential karaoke hosts and providing karaoke equipment.

She has also ventured majority in the Kenyan music industry and is popularly known as 'Hotty.' She got a Kisima Nomination for her single 'Songa Mbali' in 2008 and won the award for Boomba Female Artiste of the year 2008. She has done collaborations with various artistes in the industry like Jaguah, Syd, Rufftone and her sister Leeze Muchai. Currently signed to a record label, 'Show-biz International,' she is working on her debut album which features among others artistes like S.T.L (Norway based Kenyan female rapper) and Gaza.

Hotty is immensely involved in various campaigns the latest one being 'Save The Mau Enough is Enough Campaign' that aims to save the Mau Forest in Kenya in Collaboration with various Artistes in and out of Kenya along with Professor Wangari Mathai's - Green Belt Movement.

Hottensiah believes that the sky is not her limit; it is indeed her starting point!

Below is an introduction to her organisation, Diva Discovery:

 

DIVA DISCOVERY

 

A GIRLS RESOURCE TRAINING AND REHABILITATION CENTRE

Pre-amble

Diva Discovery was founded in October 2007 with a vision to train, empower and rehabilitate the less fortunate young girls in our society.

Despite having the talent and the will to pursue their passions and dreams, young girls in Kenya continue to undergo many challenges and prejudices that threaten their innate exponential potential. Through various media and empowerment initiatives, Diva Discovery has been able to try to alleviate the daily needs and concerns that face young girls in our society.

Vision Statement

To empower and equip the young women in Kenya, initiate and exercise her full potential, especially in the arts. In the long run, we will then create a community in which young women from rural marginalised and urban informal settlements access platforms where they can rightfully nurture, develop and build their God-given talents effectively.

 

Our Strategy

For the past two years, Diva Discovery has been serving young girls in the local community through resourceful formal and informal outreach endeavours. These include:

  • Establishing an educational resource centre for young girls. Here, they find opportunities to get substantive training in visual and performing arts, access to research and educational materials.
  • Enable young girls who join Diva Discovery meet their basic needs and pay for their education and training.
  • Organise and participate in the arts, workshops, community awareness programs, seminars and retreats within and outside the country that empower the young girls we enrol.
  • In conjunction with stake-holders in the private and public sector, we aim to establish rehabilitation and counselling centres that will mainly target young girls in the community.
  • Our long-term vision is to set up a fully equipped performing and visual arts centre. One that will have state of the art production facilities, karaoke and music rehearsal studio, fully furnished recording studio, dance studio, computer room and a well equipped library.
  • We will also offer elementary training in drama; thus enabling Diva Discovery to come up with outstanding musical concerts, theatre and music productions.

 

The Concept behind our Project Name

In our own definition, a Diva is:

A woman with enormous talent, strong will and is never afraid to forge ahead when others do not. She is secure in who she is and values her worth. She is comfortable in her own skin and perceives her life as blessed, regardless of the external challenges she may face in this life. She is a strong, independent and proactive woman who believes every word she utters. Her gentle yet firm spirit commands respect at home and beyond. She refuses to see the world as mundane, but chooses to see the magic in every thought, every move, every process and every moment.

Measurable Impact of our Project

We ensure the effectiveness and longevity of Diva Discovery through the 'power of multiplication' whereby a Diva Discovery member/trainee goes through our formal training programs and is helped to jump-start her career. Through consultation with us, she then identifies and trains two other young ladies in the same genre of art/skill until they too are able to jump-start their own careers. Likewise, the two new trainees are each implored to train two other young ladies using the same process. Thus, the heart and vision behind Diva Discovery is effectively enhanced and multiplied among young girls in the local community and beyond.

 

Project Challenges

  • Lack of Financial support to effectively run and implement the project
  • Lack of Moral support from the private & public sector
  • Lack of public awareness and proper policy regulators

 

Current Project Achievements

Two members of Diva Discovery, Margaret Masaba & Leeze Kabura, were signed up as recording artistes by The Rags 2 Records Studio (now known as Penya Africa) in May 2008 to record a demo for their individual upcoming album. They attended music workshops and master classes conducted by the studio, which equipped them with important lifetime knowledge regarding their music in terms of copyright and business. The guest speakers included notable musicians and players in the Kenyan and European music and entertainment industry.

One member, Tabitha Muthoni Methu, after a successful three month karaoke training hosted karaoke at the Ibiza Restaurant and organised the Ibiza talent search that became a great success. She is currently hosting a karaoke show at the KPZ Lounge in Nairobi every Wednesday. Tabitha has stretched her talents immensely and is working as a producer and editor at a facility company called Vivid Features Kenya and starring in a TV programme series 'Hila' that airs on the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) that is the country's national broadcasting station. It was to our greatest delight when she auditioned for an upcoming MTV series titled Ignite, in August 2009 and was among the contestants selected among thousands of hopefuls in a leading role. The series is an explosive HIV/AIDS awareness drama that explores lifestyles of urban Kenyan youth and will air across Africa on DSTV in November. She recently graduated from Strathmore University with a diploma in Information Technology and has learnt the basics of German, French and Italian which she intends to pursue.

We have been able to increase our membership from a humble beginning of four girls to the current number of twelve girls who consistently come for training and participate in all our outreach ventures.

 

Update: 23 December, 2009, Diva Discovery is now hosting karaoke nights at Wildcatz Westlands, Coco Lifestyle Lounge & Euro Club (both in CBD).

 

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