She is the first ever Kenyan to occupy the seat and the first female from Africa
She is a professor of music at the Technical University of Kenya and is currently the Deputy vice chancellor at the Co-operative University of Kenya.
When Professor Emily Achieng’ Akuno was introduced during the just concluded 93rd edition of the Kenya National Music Festivals at Kabarak University, there was nothing unusual about her.
Prof Achieng’ is a woman wearing many hats.
But as the packed hall applauded her presence, not many heard that she is currently the President of Paris-based International Music Council and is putting Kenya on the global map through her interaction with top music bodies under Unesco.
She is the first ever Kenyan to occupy the seat and the first female from Africa.
She is a professor of music at the Technical University of Kenya (TUK) and is currently the Deputy vice chancellor at the Co-operative University of Kenya.
Next year Prof Achieng’ will add another feather on her hat when she will be take over as the president of Pan-African Society of Music Educators (PASMAE). The current president is Prof Mellitus Nyongesa Wanyama.
In an interview with Nation.co.ke Prof Achieng’ said the national music festival is fertile ground for budding musicians.
“I started participating in music festivals when I was 10 years old and this has shaped my career which culminated into becoming a professor of music,” recalls Prof Achieng’.
She added: “I have grown in the festivals and I know what kind of benefit such festivals can bring to participants.”
“This year’s performances are brilliant and what I saw on the stage was spectacular. I loved the uniformity of the movement on stage, vocal blending, artistry which brought the best of talents in the 10 days festivals,” she said.
But what impressed her most is the deep involvement of the boy child.
“I have keenly observed and I have note with a lot of joy the number of boys participate in this year’s competition was impressive,” she said.
She added: “I remember in 2006 we had more female participants than their male colleagues.”
“I am glad the boy child is stepping out and coming back to the stage,” she added.
Prof Achieng’ was also impressed by the standards, saying “this is nice because institutions offering music as a course are not many in this country.
However, she called on musicians to learn how to register intellectual property rights of their works.