‘Own yours’ words that Muthoni Drummer Queen said that have changed my life from episode 13 of the CTA docuseries. ‘If you go through ten years and no one ever gives you money are you still saying you won’t do your gig? If you won’t do your gig it means that you are operating at the wrong scale.
This is exactly what I need because this week I was monitoring my insights on one of my social platforms and realized I was losing just as many followers as I had gained. I was ranting about it because as a creative for years you feel like your audience is betraying you or worse yet you have no idea who is your audience and that messes up with you identity. But you have to keep on keeping on. Then my person who has to listen to all these rants recommended watching MDQ’s CTA101 and this is a saving grace. This babe is a boss. She is a winner and we do not even know or appreciate how much she has done for us. For Kenyan creatives, entrepreneurs and musicians.
Halfway into it I cannot imagine how much she’s been through. She has allowed us to feel that we don’t have to be one thing, it is okay to love multiple things and excel at them. Her lows were major lows but she never stops grinding. From making music that felt rejected by the Kenyan audience to setting up Blankets and Wine! Just watching and seeing her history as she discovers herself and learning it is not a straight line gives so much hope.
I am essentially thankful for her experience with public education, how positively she speaks on it. The 8-4-4 system to her was not the mess we make of it, public school was where we were exposed to the world. It’s where everything was possible and we could dream. The trips we took across the country, the funkies we went for, the entrepreneurial skills we built running the canteen and the clubs and societies we were part of.
The system had its flaws but that system also opened the world to us in ways we cannot imagine. For some of us it’s all we had and all we’ve known. Having someone share that just validates your experience and makes you feel seen. Being seen, or feeling seen gives you a confidence that pushes you, and you don’t feel alone. You know you on the right track. This for MDQ was what her friends did in giving her good advice and being an amazing support system.
You need to have that internal confidence to start in spite of anyone or anything but no man is an island. People need people. Her story is an embodiment of how people can be blessings, gate openers, guardian angels and pure miracles. Watching this I got that feeling we all know when the 7’s team wins, when an athlete brings back an olympic gold or when Lupita won her grammy. Wherever you are in this country you feel seen as a Kenyan and as worthy not just in our eyes but the entire globe.
As I am binge watching these episodes I can’t even start sharing the gems from it. You just have to go watch it for yourself honestly. This is masterclass material! On growth, failing, getting back out there, failing again and always finding confidence in knowing you are worth something and using that to build Africa everyday.
Seeing all this from someone who embodies hard work and determination among so many more whose stories we keep learning from platforms such as Cleaning The Airwaves and Abel Mutua, we know that those who came before us have our backs and for that we will always be eternally grateful. Thank you Muthoni Drummer Queen for your story and thank you Richard Njau for the platform where we can come and learn that it takes a village but it is possible.
Feature image credit from Cleaning The Airways community section on YouTube