|Caroline Mutoko [Photos: Pius Cheruiyot/Standard]|
CAROLINE MUTUKO, 26, is a gospel artiste who also has a unique taste in fashion. She spoke to ALLAN OLINGO about her first love, music and her attachment to fashion design
What drives you every morning?
For any new day, I realise that it’s God-given opportunity to fulfil His purpose in my life through my music, fashion and design. The God-given purpose, the gift of life and knowing that I will touch people in a different way is my drive.
Why gospel music?
Having been brought up in a Christian family, I was a member of the worship team in my church. We would be trained on vocals and playing instruments. The desire to get into the gospel industry was deepened by the fact that I would attend all gospel gigs in town and later, I would imitate them. One day, a group in the worship team wanted to record a song and I decided to join them. That is when I did my first song Naamini. Since then, I have not looked back. I also have two other albums Nataka and Big God.
What inspired you?
I had a firm Christian background that gave me an opportunity to listen to gospel artists like Mary Mary, Kirk Franklin and Cece Winans among others. Back at home, artistes like Rufftone and Henry Mutuko were a great inspiration. I used to cut their pictures from newspapers and hang them on my wall and hoped that someday, I would be like them. I also felt the need to inspire and touch people through my music.
How did you end up as a designer?
I was very girly as I grew up and I used to dress my dolls all the time. My mum would get pissed at me because I would cut my clothes to make outfits for my dolls. That is how my affair with fashion started. So far, I have been able to establish my own clothesline. I design T-shirts, handbags, accessories and modern African outfits.
Any artistes you have dressed?
By God’s grace I have dressed gospel artists such as Ekodyda, Jimmy Gait and Esther Wahome for their video shoots and even for their casual wear. As we speak, am working on Kenyan branded T-shirts for two Blackburn Rovers players (England). Am also working on orders for my clients in US for sundresses for the summer season. I have a shop in town (Nairobi) on Tubman Lane opposite Jamia Mall.
Which artistes did you look up to?