Iddi Achieng
Gig Seeker Pro

Iddi Achieng

Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya | SELF

Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya | SELF
Band World Acoustic

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

Music

Press


"Iddi leads 360 degree look at perfoming arts"

Iddi leads 360 degree look at perfoming arts
Published on 15-5-2010

Afro-fussion artiste Iddi Achieng’, in collaboration with artistes from Denmark and UK, using puppeteers, dancers and actresses, present ‘Eat Me,’ an interactive, promenade performance, which engages with the audience as active participants, not passive spectators.

It fuses theatre with visual art, film, dance, music, puppetry and fire sculpture. The work examines the theme of cultural consumption:

Why do “privileged” members of society want to consume negative images of the “under-privileged”, and what is the cost and the benefit of that transaction, to the consumer and to the consumed? Specifically, how does that process of consumption affect relationships between Africans and Europeans?

The work takes, as a starting point, interactions between commercial sex workers and those who have a financial effect on their lives: clients, NGO donors, doctors, the Church, the police, family, etc.

The artistes are working with Rahab Omunzi, a former commercial sex worker who was voted Parents Magazine Local Hero in February this year for her work counselling sex workers and abused women in Nairobi. The show premiers next week, Thursday, May 20, at the Ramoma. - Nation Newspaper - Kenya


"Iddi Achieng for Bayimba"

Iddi Achieng for Bayimba
Published on 10-6-2009

As doors open for the second Bayimba International Music Festival this Friday, a number of international names have been lined up, including Namibia's Elemotho, Tanzania's Enika, Zimbabwe's Comrade Fatso. But the must-see is Kenya's Iddi Achieng. Iddi, as she is commonly known, is not just coming to Uganda as a singer, actress, poetess, director and community theatre practitioner, but has a package for Ugandans.

If you have not heard of this great talent, she is one of the Kenyan artistes on the fast-lane of popularity in the country and abroad - just after Susan Owiyo. I watched her perform at Sauti Za Busara music festival in Zanzibar. Iddi brings a picture of a Kenyan with a love for East Africa. Donned in Kenyan colours, I was surprised how she held the Ugandan flag high with her single, Kafumbe. "For me it's about reaching different people. I like Uganda and I have always wanted to do a song in one of the local dialects. That is why I chose Luganda," Iddi told The Observer.

Employing the services of Ugandan artiste based in Nairobi, Ambassador, she was able to trade Luganda on Luo beats. And you won't be disappointed watching her first performance in Uganda this weekend.

Iddi's music is a fusion of traditional and modern sounds and instrumentation.She will be performing at the three day festival which opens this Friday at the National Theatre.

The free festival will feature local performances from Kora award nominee, Susan Kerunen, Qwela Band, Herbert Kinobe, acoustic guarist Harry Lwanga and Julie Sessanga among others. - The Observer Newspaper - Uganda


"A woman must ooze attitude"

A woman must ooze attitude
Published on 8-1-2011

Iddi Achieng's live performances are described as heart-stopping. She wows audiences with her chants, electrifying performances and story-telling sessions that leaves people crying for more. She spoke to Shirley Genga

I was born in Nairobi, East Africa’s melting pot of cultures. I grew up in a family of four children, Richard Ouko, Rebecca Rapuro, Dorcas Akinyi and me. I was the last born.

I was a quiet child as I grew up but I would often come alive during music performances, both in church and during family fellowship at home. When I was young, my mother, Margaret Omuga, would often sing as she did her chores around the house.

My brother Richard, now a pastor, and my sisters were all involved in music. My sisters sang in the choir while my brother played the piano, drums and guitar. Richard would also take me to the Kenya National Theatre and Phoenix Theatre to watch plays and music concerts. Thus I was privileged to have a lot of music played around me.

I come from a close-knit family, sometimes we all travel to ushago (village) and just talk and reminisce, it is so much fun.

Breast cancer

I love my mother, she is my rock and I draw a lot of strength from her given what she went through to put us all through school and university after we lost our father to cancer.
Iddi Achieng

This is partly why I agreed to pose topless with 11 other women for the True Love magazine for the ‘touch yourself’ breast cancer awareness campaign. God rest his soul in peace. He died when I was only 13 years old. My mother worked hard to ensure we never lacked.

In high school, I was the entertainment prefect and drama chairlady. The music and drama bug in me was further cultivated and that only confirmed to me that music and drama were my paths. This saw me bag many trophies and accolades at the music and drama festivals both at provincial and national levels.

I always knew that I was born for the bright lights (stage). I would always tell my mother that I wanted to work with people.

I remember once, while still a student at Asumbi Girls’ High School, I told my best friend Sharon Molla, now Achieng’ Muli, how I could not wait for my time to shine. I did not know how I would get there, but I knew I belonged to the stage.

Selfless

I am an introvert and extrovert all wrapped in one. I am extremely shy and very emotional in private. Easy-cry Iddi is only known to my family and close friends. I cry when I am happy, when I am sad and when I am excited. When my son brought me flowers and sang his first kindergarten song, I cried because I was touched, strange but true.

I never forget a good deed and I am selfless. I am impatient with retrogressive people, I am bad at forgiving but I am working on it. I am told I have attitude and I am arrogant, I don’t deny it. That is what sums me up, how can a woman not ooze attitude? That is where character comes from and I have no apologies to make about that.

I am forthwith and will easily make my opinion known when I am sure that what I stand for is the truth however unpopular it may be. I don’t flow with the tide. If I am pissed, I will tell you on your face. From me what you see is what you get.

I am at a point in my life where I only give audience to progressive minds. I love socialising, I laugh till I drop with my friends who I kill with my jocular nature, which comes naturally. I go out of my way to make and keep friends. I love to dance to my fellow artistes’ music across the board.

I also dance a lot in the house with my sons especially on Sundays after church. They laugh when they see mummy dance to their music.

Other times I like to switch off and go to my inner me. I can stay in the bedroom a whole day in pure bliss of silence. I love being alone, undisturbed, I read and write a lot.

I love being a mother and I feel so blessed to have my two little soldiers. Max is eleven and Shaka is six. If anyone tells you that motherhood is easy, they are not being sincere. Motherhood is about being selfless and putting others before you. It involves taking in the pain and the joys that come along with the decisions that are in the best interest of the little hearts.

When I look back, I realise just how selfless my mother was. She literally laid down her life for us and for this, she is now my baby, I take care of her every whim whenever I can because she deserves it.

Fine gentlemen

She took care of us and worked so hard but never uttered a word of complaint. As a mother, I think the greatest lesson I can teach my sons is to respect women first as human beings and not to look at money as a basis of respecting them. I want them to see successful women as equals and not threats, as companions and not as punching bags or doormats.

If I achieve that, I will have succeeded as a mother and raised fine gentlemen. It is a rewarding full-time job and one has to learn how to balance. Motherhood made me more sensitive to the plight of others and brought out my soft side.

I believe a woman has to live her life fully or live the rest of her life regretting. I have always had two best friends. We call ourselves the ‘three musketeers’. Jecinter Hezron now at World Bank and Grace Ocholla who works at Cooperative Bank. We grew up together, went through life challenges together and are inseparable.

We are fiercely loyal to each other and meet once a month. We have set up an agreement which we call, ‘the parent deal’ that sees us visit each others’ parents in the village every year and spoil them rotten.

We all live in Nairobi and our children know each other. Every woman needs her girls, they make life beautiful. - Standard Newspaper - Kenya


"Iddi Achieng for Bayimba"

Iddi Achieng for Bayimba
Published 10-6-2009

As doors open for the second Bayimba International Music Festival this Friday, a number of international names have been lined up, including Namibia's Elemotho, Tanzania's Enika, Zimbabwe's Comrade Fatso. But the must-see is Kenya's Iddi Achieng. Iddi, as she is commonly known, is not just coming to Uganda as a singer, actress, poetess, director and community theatre practitioner, but has a package for Ugandans.

If you have not heard of this great talent, she is one of the Kenyan artistes on the fast-lane of popularity in the country and abroad - just after Susan Owiyo. I watched her perform at Sauti Za Busara music festival in Zanzibar. Iddi brings a picture of a Kenyan with a love for East Africa. Donned in Kenyan colours, I was surprised how she held the Ugandan flag high with her single, Kafumbe. "For me it's about reaching different people. I like Uganda and I have always wanted to do a song in one of the local dialects. That is why I chose Luganda," Iddi told The Observer.

Employing the services of Ugandan artiste based in Nairobi, Ambassador, she was able to trade Luganda on Luo beats. And you won't be disappointed watching her first performance in Uganda this weekend.

Iddi's music is a fusion of traditional and modern sounds and instrumentation.She will be performing at the three day festival which opens this Friday at the National Theatre.

The free festival will feature local performances from Kora award nominee, Susan Kerunen, Qwela Band, Herbert Kinobe, acoustic guarist Harry Lwanga and Julie Sessanga among others. - The Observer Newspaper - Uganda


"Iddi Achieng’ for Mau Forest tree planting"

Iddi Achieng’ for Mau Forest tree planting

Published on 08/04/2010

Top local artistes will be in Mau Forest over the weekend for tree planting exercise. The event is set for tomorrow on Sabatia Forest in Koibatek, Eldama Ravine. About 8,000 seedlings of indigenous trees will be planted in the mid-morning. The musicians will assemble at Kabimoi trading centre along Nakuru-Eldama Ravine road.

In attendance will be afro–fusion singer Iddi Achieng’, Kenrazy, Pilipili, Chiwawa, Cartel, Juliani, Ian Mbugua, Tahidi High cast, the Team, Jalang’o among others. There will be brief entertainment from Iddi Achieng and Wanyakuzi clan. Later in the afternoon there will be beautification of Eldama Ravine town. - Standard Newspaper - Kenya


Discography

Thim Lich
Debut solo album - 2008

Kaboumboum
With the group Nairobi City Ensemble as the lead vocalist - 2007

Kalapapla
With the group Nairobi City Ensemble as the lead vocalist - 2004

Photos

Bio

Iddi Achieng’ was born in Nairobi, the East African melting pot of Cultures. She was intro¬duced to music at an early age by her mother who sang around her as she went about her daily chores. She comes from a musical family: her brother plays the piano and the guitar and her sisters sang in the church choir. Iddi grew up having a lot of conscious music played around her and she was exposed to gospel music both at home and in church.

It’s however at high school that the music and acting bug in her was cultivated. She was an ac¬tive member of art based clubs, like drama and music. She managed to bag quite a number of trophies and accolades both as an individual performer and for the school choir at the annual music and drama festivals. She also sang at her covenant youth choir.
After school, Iddi spent a lot of time at the Kenya National theatre, interacting with other talented artistes. During this period she met Kenyan music producer Tabu Osusa who took her under his wings and helped her sharpen her musical intel¬lect. She joined Tabu’s Nairobi City Ensemble as the lead vocalist, going on to produce and record three internationally acclaimed albums, Kaboum Boum, Kalapapla, and Mama Africa (a collaboration between Nairobi City Ensemble and the Hannes Klauss jazz quartet from Germany).
In 2008, Iddi Achieng’ went on to release her debut album ‘Thim Lich’ which earned her a Ki¬sima awards nomination in the Best Fusion Album category.
Travelling on an international tour from 2005 to 2007, she landed the privilege to represent her country in Norway performing with the opera singer and producer Rhoda O. Wilhemsen on a three year performing contract courtesy of the Norwegian institute Of Concerts. This took place as part of The Msafiri project under the auspices of the Norwegian government that saw her go on a long performing tour of Norway. In October 2007 she performed in Oslo at the World Music Festival,at the United Nations day in Bergen and at the Bergen International Festival. At all places she was wowing audiences with her passionate, electrifying performances and storytelling session’s that left people asking for more. Among other notable occasions, she has also performed in Stockholm, Sweden in (2007), at the Fest’ Horn in Djibouti (2004), Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda among others.

In Kenya, Iddi has performed in numerous concerts, notably at the World social forum held in Nairobi in 2007 and at the Alliance Française de Nairobi, the Italian cultural centre, The Goethe-Institute Nairobi. She has also been actively involved projects promoting Kenyan women in business and investment forum in collaboration with United Nations development programme (UNDP), NGO- and Corporate and private events.

A socially conscious artiste whose music is based on her people's way of life hence the tag, My Heritage, My Pride. Love, peace, freedom, gender issues, the girl child, development of the African woman and a deeper understanding and appreciation of her culture and heritage are some of the themes in her music.

Her music style has been termed as ‘Afro Fusion’ and is on the fast-lane of growth in popularity around the country and abroad. The music is a fusion of traditional music interspersed with modern beats, styles and arrangements.
With the globalization and the world becoming smaller, Iddi has come up with a unique style of using her traditional language and rhythms to contribute to the fast rising world culture. Globalization is not all about economic standardization but a lot more. This includes a more pro-active contribution to the diversity with an objective of appreciating its beats and the very best of one another’s culture.

This dream is self evident in her music, as the vision of ‘one world, one culture’ is clear with the fusion of African music instruments like the Djembe, Boum Boum, Flute, Nyatiti, and Orutu with Western instruments like Marimba, Violin, Saxophone, Keyboards, Clarinet and Guitars, without losing the Kenyan identity.

Iddi Achieng is influenced by great musicians such as Angelique Kidjo, Dobet Gnahore, Haddy Njie, Ogoya Nengo, Baba Maal among others.
Iddi’s strongest aspect, as far as her music is concerned, has been the live performances. It is here that she blends in her other artistic muscle i.e. acting, interactive participatory educative performances, facilitation, storytelling and poetic skills, by the way she interacts and connects with the different audiences she comes across, creating an atmosphere that makes each of her shows unique. This has also been boosted by the acting and social work side that heavily influences the songs she writes and performs. The live recording concept captures the spirit of the music. Iddi works with different musicians both at the recordings and performances, not only because of their instrumentation skills but also their uniqueness in the game. In the creation of unique music, Iddi cleverly is also cleverly fusing languages. F