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Meet little girl, big violin – Maryann Nduku

Tell us about yourself

My name is Maryann Nduku. I am 17 years old and I’m in Form One at Dr Mwenje High School in Kariobangi South. I’m a day scholar.

How did you start playing the cello?

I was in Class Five at St Clare Primary School in Baba Dogo, when Simon Kariuki, a trainer at Ghetto Classics, visited to tell us about joining the group. Afterwards, I paid them a visit. I wanted to play the viola, still in the violin family of instruments, but it was tough, so I opted to learn how to play the cello instead. I really love it and take great care of it. (She says as she puts it away in its big well padded case).

How often do you rehearse and how do you cope with schoolwork at the same time?

I practise every day from 4pm-6pm. It’s easy for me to keep up with schoolwork, since I am a day scholar. So, I practise over the weekends or when I can during the weekdays, when I have less schoolwork.

How have you grown your skill?

Well, most of the time, Safaricom come in and organise camps for us. During such trips, we learn a lot and at the same time, I get to hear how other sounds are like. When these workshops are on, we have teachers as well, and we work on our schoolwork. In 2017, we had one and we were advised on how to keep at making our skills better, as well as maintaining top grades.

What are some of the most memorable shows you have played at?

Last year, we played at the Jazz Festival, which was held at Kasarani Indoor Arena. I loved it because we played together as a group, and I loved the resulting sound. While at Ghetto Classics, we practise separately. I have also played at State House when I was in Class Six, during one of the public holidays. I also had the opportunity to perform in front of the Pope when he came to Kenya in 2015. This year in January, I played at the Safaricom Orchestra Weekend dubbed Turi Weekend.

What would you tell young people who are looking to play instruments?

If they get an opportunity, they should go for it. Also, parents should support them, because my mother supports us; my twin who plays the trombone, my brother who plays the drum set, and myself.

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