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Meet DJ Poizon Ivy, inspiring trailblazing 27-year-old Kenyan in Emmy award win

IVY AWINO alias DJ POIZON IVY is the first ever female DJ for the Dallas Mavericks in the franchise’s history, and the second female DJ for the NBA league. At 27, she has made impressive moves, from spinning at large stages and doing openings for big acts in music such as rapper Wiz Khalifa, to being nominated for the Global Spin awards. A documentary about her remarkable journey in the industry won an Emmy award last year. She spoke to EVELYN MAKENA

Few things rival Ivy Awino’s joy in creatively synching tracks behind turntables, and entertaining audiences through skillfully selected music. One is motherhood and the other is getting to work with her all time favourite NBA team, the Dallas Mavericks as their arena DJ and sound director.

A fast rising star, Kenyan-born and US-based Poizon Ivy the DJ is imprinting her mark in the male-dominated industry and impressively succeeding at it. At 27, she has emerged as the first ever female DJ for the Dallas Mavericks alias the Mavs in the franchise’s history, and the second female DJ for the NBA league. A Global Spins award nominee, she is also the first female DJ to have the honour of deejaying at the NBA All Stars game that took place last weekend on February 18 in Los Angeles, California.

 

It’s a dewy winter morning as Ivy quietly winds through the Dallas traffic after dropping her daughter Kyani at school. Wearing cozy grey sweat pants, her hair is braided in neat cornrows and nails elegantly manicured in royal blue polish. With barely no make-up, her face still holds an eminent glow. She bats her eyelids with exhaustion, smiling widely reminiscing about how homesick she is during our Skype interview. As she speaks, her warmth is genuine and smiling comes so easily for her.

She explains the deal with struggling to stay alert as she drives. The previous night, she was out working late, and still had to wake up early to drop her five-year-old daughter at school. “I have a hard time staying awake, but I wouldn’t give up spending the beginning of the day with my daughter for anything,” she sighs. Ivy then heads to the gym before settling down to answer emails, schedule meetings with clients and make her music mixes. Being the peak of the Dallas Mavericks season, Ivy is at her busiest, and points out to planning to take a break to visit Kenya during summer, after the season ends in April.

Her undeterred drive, deep confidence in her abilities and the courage to thrust herself into the deep end of whatever she sets her mind to has been at the core of her upward mobility in the highly competitive entertainment industry. Though her rise to prominence has not been seamless, it exemplifies the power of a dream combined with sheer determination. Her story is not only about remarkable achievement, but also about her indomitable spirit and personal growth.

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