8 Kenyan creative and cultural enterprises receive ACP-EU grants


Muthoni The Drummer Queen (MDQ) also made the shortlist with his company perFORM.

Muthoni the queen of drummers

Ignite Culture, an ACP-EU (East Africa) cultural program has announced its shortlist of grant applicants. 8 Kenyans made the shortlist of 20.

Grant applications took place between August 11 and September 15, 2021; the fund received and reviewed a total of 379 applications from 11 of the 14 eligible countries. The majority of nominations were received from Kenya (134), Uganda (58) and Rwanda (53) respectively. The total funding requests of our 379 applications amount to more than 38.6 million euros.

Among the 8 awarded companies was MDQ’s music and performance training incubator, perFORM.

Speaking about the grant, Wakiuru Njuguna, Partner and Chief Investment Officer at HEVA, said, “This project has contributed to the strategic goal of expanding our services to the entire East African region, in line with our strategic objectives 2018-2022. Our outreach and commitment to the cultural and creative sector includes financial investments, knowledge development as well as capacity building, skills development and market development. The Ignite Culture fund will be essential to the growth of the entire sector in our region. »

The 8 shortlisted Kenyan companies are: –

  • Book Bunk Trust is a social impact business working to restore public libraries. All funds awarded by the Ignite Culture grant will be used for public programming, the creation of historical archives and the development of a partnership toolkit.
  • Za Kikwetu Productions Ltd is an audiovisual production house in Nairobi, whose proposition focuses on cultural heritage and podcasting.
  • Avandu Vosi Studio is a group of artists who tell stories through comics, illustrations and animation. Their proposal concerns the heritage and publishing of a comic strip.
  • Saba Studios is a design laboratory and manufacturer of indoor and outdoor furniture, inspired by the rich history of Swahili furniture and culture. The proposed use of funds is for the training and professional development of artisans.
  • Bomas from Kenya is a state agency that works to preserve, maintain, educate and promote the diverse cultures of various ethnic groups in Kenya. Through the Ignite Culture grant, they plan to build a collection and interactive showcase of Indigenous music.
  • BlackRhino VR is a virtual reality production company that develops online content through the power of virtual reality technology. They plan to focus on an augmented reality platform.
  • Standing collective is developing a comedy club culture in Kenya, to create a community of comedians and comedy lovers. Through the Ignite Culture grant, they plan to host a series of stand-up comedy workshops and showcases, as well as grow the network further.
  • Muthoni Music Entertainment/Performance focuses on musical performance and training. Their project will focus on incubating artistic and business skills.


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