8 Kenyan creative,cultural companies awarded ACP-EU grants

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

Muthoni The Drummer Queen

Ignite Culture, an ACP EU Culture Programme (Eastern Africa) has announced its grant applicant shortlist. 8 Kenyans made it to the shortlist of 20.

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

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

Speaking about the grant, Wakiuru Njuguna, Partner and Investment Manager at HEVA, said, “This project has contributed to the strategic goal of extending our services across the Eastern Africa region, in line with our 2018-2022 strategic goals. Our outreach and commitment to the culture and creative sector include financial investments, knowledge development as well as capacity building, skill development, and market development. The Ignite Culture Fund will be fundamental to the growth of the overall sector in our region.”

The 8 Kenyan companies shortlisted are:-

  • Book Bunk Trust is a social impact firm that works to restore public libraries. Any funds awarded from the Ignite Culture grant will be put towards public programming, building a historical archive and developing a partnership toolkit.
  • Za Kikwetu Productions Ltd is an audio-visual production house in Nairobi, whose proposal focuses on cultural heritage and podcasting.
  • Avandu Vosi Studio is a group of artists who tell stories through comics, illustrations and animations. Their proposal focuses on heritage and the publication of a comic book.
  • Saba Studios is a design lab and manufacturer of indoor and outdoor furniture, inspired by the rich history of Swahili furniture and culture. Their proposed use of funds is for craftsperson education and professional development.
  • Bomas of 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 put together 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.
  • Standup Collective is growing a comedy club culture in Kenya, in order to create a community of comedians and comedy lovers. Through the Ignite Culture grant, they plan to run a series of stand up comedy workshops and showcases, as well as further network development.
  • Muthoni Music Entertainment/perFORM focuses on music performance and training. Their project will focus on artistic and business skills incubation.


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