Amina Abdi: I'm done singing
Posted Sunday, March 10 2013 at 02:00
- With a successful radio career, Amina Abdi tells BONIFACE MWALII why her stint as one of the most talented and fast rising singers in the country might just be coming to an abrupt halt as she takes on a new TV role.
Who is Amina?
Amina is a fun loving, sweet, 25-year-old radio and TV presenter who just recently ventured into singing. I love music, I love cooking, I love fashion. I’m a girly girl. My family is my strength. In a nutshell, I love my work and I’m all about the people who matter in my life.
Tell us a bit about your upbringing
I was born and raised in Nairobi. My parents are both Borana. Dad is from Moyale and my mum is from Isiolo. I studied at Kenya High School up to 2006.
So you’re like the most famous Borana right?
Haha. It’s funny everyone always tells me I’m the first Borana they’ve ever met but I know so many it’s just that they’re probably really scattered.
How has it been transitioning from the interviewer as a radio/TV presenter to the interviewee as a musician?
It’s quite awkward really. I’m used to asking all the questions so the first time I had to do an interview was really awkward. But I love music. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do but because of my religion it’s always taken a backseat. My parents are very strict and they always nudged me to become a lawyer or a diplomat. I can say I just stumbled on music.
You’re obviously a talented singer. How did you nurture that talent given your family’s attitude?
I always used to listen to music with my elder sister. Naturally we had very different tastes but I ended up listening to Shania Twain, Mariah Carey, Joe, Whitney Houston and other great musicians of that time. I remember singing from as far back as Standard One.
I would cram songs from cassette tapes and my dad would bring home karaoke machines and mics which I would use to perform for my family and friends. I always wanted to be a singer but it just never really happened until recently.
From an aspiring diplomat/lawyer to a media personality and musician, how did that happen?
I heard Homeboyz were opening a radio school which I joined and worked so hard because they told us the top student in our class would get a job at Homeboyz.
It so happened I was top of my class so when I started interacting with people in the industry, many commented on how well I could sing. We did some projects back then but I was always skeptical about putting any of it out because I was afraid of my parents and religion.
What has changed now?
I won’t lie, I may not be the most pious of Muslims but even then I’m not the type of person to strip naked on a music video or anything remotely close to that. I’m happy for everyone who is willing to do that but it’s just not for me. And that’s not even about my parents or religion, it’s purely a matter of principle.
In the end my religion still doesn’t condone what I do but I feel like we we’re all given one life to live and I want to live mine my way. As long as I know my family is behind me, I’m good. Besides they know I wouldn’t go and do something stupid like dance half naked on a striper pole in a video.
How did you end up working with Jay A?