Willyhelmina Ngowi is a sassy young lady about to get into her 20s. That fact however, has not stopped her from going out of her way to pursue her art-laced dreams.
Unlike her peers after clearing high school, she did not go for the overrated computer packages everyone scrammed into. She chose Matatu Designing and Graffiti. A course that took her 4 months to earn a certificate.
The matatu culture in the country and her love for art led her into the freelancing world. It is not a journey in the park. The industry is coupled with many challenges and being female, doesn’t make it any easier.
“There are few investors in this line of work. Not many of the matatu owners can afford the designs range we offer. More often than not, they choose to go without the graffiti and we suffer.
“Being a male-dominated industry, some people devalue what I can do. However, I don’t let this put me down as I know I am good at what I do. My greatest pleasure is to look at the client’s awed face when I prove them wrong.
“I am a woman, yes but that does not mean I cannot perform equally or better than my male colleagues.”
That aside, Willy is a DJ. She studied at Bling It On Deejay Academy on sponsorship. They were out on a designing job when the owner of the academy threw sponsorship their way. She gladly grabbed the chance.
It is the era of female disc jockeys seeing that remarkable women such as DJ Pierra Makena have set the bar high. Although they still face stereotyping, they are not backing down.
“I work four days a week mainly at a club. I control the decks in some events too but these are hard to come by as most of the time, event organizers want someone whose name is big and recognized.
“Part of my salary serves to conduct my many projects in line with my passions. I still live with my parents and I’m spared rent(giggles) but I cover my own personal needs from my earnings.”
What do her parents think of her disc jockeying?
“This might surprise you, they are my biggest fans! They don’t necessarily come to the club or my events to show their support but they give me ‘the go ahead and do your thing’. I am grateful for that.”
“When I am in the club, I am appreciated and I take time to discover people and expand my network. You never know who might give you your next gig!”
Willyhelmina aspires to purchase her own DJ deck(mixer) soon.
Her other hobbies include swimming, reading novels, drawing and definitely listening to music. Whenever she finds the time, she engages her culinary skills.
To the youth she says: “Follow your heart and never give up. Nothing comes easy. What does goes the same way.”
Happy Birthday to you Willyhelmina! Keep winging it. You can get her in action, tomorrow 7th April, 2018 at FunCity Utopia Lounge in Utawala as from 8pm.