A Kenyan-born woman has become the first female Disc Jockey (DJ) for an American professional basketball team, which competes in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Ms Ivy Awino, who is commonly known by her stage name as DJ Poizon Ivy, becomes the first female DJ to be employed as Dallas Mavericks’ resident DJ, a profession dominated by male counterparts.
The 26-year-old was born in Nairobi but moved to the US in 1999 when she was only 9 years old. At the tender age of 12 she developed a love for the game and decided to join the Mavs Hoop Camp youth program with the goal of becoming a ball kid.
Ms Awino quickly won over the franchise’s community relations director and kept the job until she left for college at 18.
But she was also interested in music and she started playing piano when she was 5 years old. She eventually switched gears in school and focused on entertainment.
Awino started a college radio show and one of her friends, DJ Adamocity, agreed to teach her how to DJ.
“He was one of the biggest DJs in Milwaukee,” she remembers. “I didn’t think he was serious about it.”
Mavericks commonly known as (Mavs), won the 2011 NBA champions, hired Ms Awino after the unfortunate death of the team’s official DJ of eight years, Whiz T.
“DJ Whiz T was an amazing DJ, an amazing talent; such a staple for the Mavs and the city of Dallas,” Awino was quoted by dmagazine.
“My first career goal was to become the first female commissioner of the NBA. I’d been around the game for so long. I was writing papers about the life of a female executive in the NBA.” Awino stated.
It was from there that she started getting opportunities to entertain in different events ranging from the fields to parties.
“With the (school’s) basketball team, I would be in charge of putting together their pre-game playlist. And growing up in an arena I was just subconsciously soaking everything in. Sports culture has lent itself immensely to the music industry and vice versa.” she said.