On this week’s episode of African Voices, the programme meets acrobat and dancer Wendy Waeni and discovers that, despite coming naturally to the young star, performing isn’t her lifelong dream.
Born in Nairobi, Wendy Waeni began performing at age four and hasn’t stopped since. She is a member of Pamoja Acrodance; a group which was founded in 2008 with the aim to empower children to express themselves creatively through dance and acrobatics. The group has over 80 members and has become a breeding ground for talent, with Waeni as a shining example.
Known as ‘Baby Wendy’, the twelve-year-old explains to the programme her inspiration: “I just said, ‘I will be unique from others’, so I decided to [try] acrobatics.” Fortunately, the sport was enjoyable and came naturally to Waeni.
Her skilled performances have taken her across the globe for performances: “I have travelled to China, Spain, Germany and the UK to perform. It feels great to travel all over the world, because you see amazing things and you learn more.” She has also met various heads of state, Waeni describes one memorable meeting: “The first president I met was President Uhuru Kenyatta, on Jamuhuri Day. To greet the president felt so nice and I was just about to cry because I have never dreamt of greeting him.”
Waeni explains to the programme what it takes to be a successful acrobat: “I am not afraid, I don’t fear, I have faith and hope. I know there’s always a person to save me. As an acrobat, you need to have faith and hope. You need to trust the people that are near you that you are cooperating with. You need be confident.”
While her confidence and skilled acrobatics have been a launching pad for the young star, Waeni’s dream career may come as a surprise to her fans: “Next year I will not be able to do acrobats because education is very important. When I grow up I want to be a pilot or a journalist. The reason I want to be a pilot is because I love to be on a plane and travelling to other countries. The reason why I want to be a journalist is because I have met so many.”
‘African Voices’ is sponsored by Globacom Limited.