Akua Kamau

 

Akua ( Kenyan name pronounced Ak-wah) means Born on a Wednesday

Kamau (Kenyan name pronounced Kah-mah-oo) means Silent Warrior

As I child I grew up in various tenement yards in the Inner City living in a single room with my ‘momzee’ in a matriarchal home. Our home was also part of a larger matrilineal family consisting of my ‘momzee’ and her eight siblings and their children. I have no brothers or sisters so my cousins are very important to me. They are in fact my brothers and sisters.

I was introduced to the arts very early and I remember being taught how to do antimocassin by a childhood friend, who had learned to do it in Arts and Crafts, at her school. It requires a wooden frame, sort of like a picture frame with nails right around the face of the frame itself. Woolen thread would then be strung across the frame between the nails up and down, left and right over and over and over and then each crossing would be tied. The finished woolen mat/doily was then taken off the frame and sold to help to buy my school books. My mom had a very modest job and she did the best she could without the help of my father.

I know my dad but he just has never played any significant role in my life. I completed preparatory school in the summer of 1972 and entered High school for Christmas Term that same year. In High School my most pleasing experience was as a member of the cadet force. I spent the greater part of my high school life as a cadet. I was a great rifle shot, I played the side drum, blew the bugle and was also a good infantryman. I was also a member of the air cadet corp and was in fact a student pilot while in High School.

I was introduced to the guitar in 1974 and played on and off with a school band until 1978. I also took part in training the first set of females to be girl cadets and they went on inspection in my last year at high school, 1980. After leaving high school I chose the route of academia and career and essentially put music and the arts aside. My first job was at our Central Bank, Bank of Jamaica where I served in various capacities in Banking, MIS and Internal Audit until I left in 1992. I continued in MIS until I gave up that career in January 2013 and once again took up music this time making it my fulltime job. My beloved ‘momzee’ finally went to rest at the age of 90 years on August 13 at 18:30 that same year and I think about her every day. She supported me without a father for most of my childhood years.

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