On my drive into work I was listening to Desert Island Discs and the guest was Chi Chi Nwanoku. To be honest, I’d never heard of her before but I don’t think I’ll forget her in a hurry!
It appears this woman can do almost anything she turns her attention to, from being a possible Olympic sprinter to becoming an internationally-renowned double bass player, which is no mean feat for a small woman!
Her road to music started at a young age; her first music lesson was with her dad singing her Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and the first time she heard a piano being played, she knew she was destined to play.
It was after a devastating knee injury, which meant she would never run competitively again, that her music teacher suggested she could have a career in music. Never being one to shy away from a challenge, she took on one of the biggest instruments in an orchestra and won!
In 2015 she created ‘Chinneke’, Europe’s first professional majority black and minority ethnic orchestra. In 2017, this orchestra’s outstanding performance of Handel’s Rejoice Greatly at the BBC Proms has notched up over 4.2 million viewings.
2017 was a good year for Chi Chi as she was also awarded an OBE to match the MBE she received in 2001.
Chi Chi believes there is music in us all so, while I’m off to discover my old violin, have a listen to this inspiring woman, her discs’ choices and the legacy she’ll leave behind.