My name is Dembede Mido a.k.a Checkmate Mido[The Dancing Poet]. I am a performing artist specializing mainly in Music and Poetry. I think I started writing poetry from as early as age 14. I use to eavesdrop on my dad when he was listening to his music in the evenings, sort of turn down the TV volume and listen. I would listen to music a lot like this until one day we got a radio/HiFi sound system for the family living room. Then I would spend hours upon hours listening to program after program, local, international it didn’t matter. For me I just wanted the music. Sometimes hiphop, sometimes zilizopendwa, neo soul, kapuka or boomba e.t.c
At that time I discovered E-Sir’s music. Followed his music to ‘The Bucaneers-Habib na Manga’ then to Nameless. Then, later on I found the group that would really get me thinking about Kenyan Hiphop which was ‘Kalamashaka’.
I’ve always had a strong founded belief that there is no such thing as ‘talent’, instead we all have gifts because gifts are more inclusive and allow for room for more possibilities. So I started out performing freestyle rap after developing a keen interest in Hip-Hop. Later on through more writing and practice I found that I still had a lot more in me that wanted to come out and so my writing took more of a poetic approach and after that I ventured into Spoken Word. Through Spoken Word/Poetry I found my way into Theatre, got some good reviews which got me thinking more seriously about theatre.
Around 2014 I started combining all of this to create performances. As opposed to having one thing standing on it’s own. So there was a lot of hybrid work that wasn’t really theatre, music concerts that weren’t fully concerts.
To create unique, engaging and interesting work that serves as both a source of entertainment and tells a narrative that adds value to people’s lives.