Kenyan artists are using their respective platforms to create social awareness ahead of the August elections. With each election so has the train of thought changed. in addition to calling for peac and unity the songs have moved to actually delving into social issues that need to be addressed such as bad leadership, corruption, infrastructure development and the state of our health care system.
With 145 days to the general elections, the country is in campaign mode as politicians try to garner the support from the people. Heeding the call to perform their civic duty to create awareness via their current platforms, Kenyan artists are releasing music with social messages.
1. King Kaka- Mwizi Mkubwa
Mwizi Mkubwa translates to Big thief is a short film presentation by Kaka empire. The story is about how whistle blowers are vilified by the public for unearthing corruption scandals- ironical just like the name. King Kaka asks Kenyans to vote in leaders who stand for the truth and fight for common mwananchi.
2. Dela- Paza Sauti
Dela wants to empower the youth to vote with “Paza Sauti.” The songstress appeals to the youth to push for real change using their voting power. Produced by Sauti Sol’s Polycarp Otieno, the track feels less of a public service and more of a passion project for the singer. The message is clear, you can only vote for change if you actually vote.
3. Muthoni the Drummer queen- Kenyan message
Talk about a call out to all those “all talk no action” politicians, Muthoni isn’t pulling any punches in this critically worded piece as she clearly enumerates the gap between the wealthy politicians and the suffering Kenyans. Inspired by the unsatisfactory political agendas and most recently the 100days doctors strike, Muthoni is not a happy individual with the system and she doesn’t mince her words in saying it.
Don’t push me coz am close to the edge.
We can do better as Kenyans. We deserve better
4. Hart the Band- Think Part 1
If there’s one thing the “Uliza Kiatu” and “Nikikutazama” hitmakers are incredible at is creatively incorporating their artistic skills into their music. Think part 1 is no different. This time the message is to think of how Kenyans have the power to not be taken for fools. Scandals, left, right and centre with irrelevant commissions adding onto the burden of taxpayers. It all comes down to the leaders we elect and do we really know what they stand for?
5. Eko Dydda- Apana Tambua Ukabila
The message is clear. We are one Nation and one people. Kenya lets stand up and fight for 254
5. Sarabi, Mufasa, Tear Drops, juliani, Maji Maji- Tumechoka
Am sure everybody frustrated with the politics of Kenya can relate to this song. Released February last year “Tumechoka” is means enough is enough. As a society, we are tired of being victimized, stolen from and belittled even though the power is in our hands.
As the elections near and an uncertain electoral atmosphere looms, Kenyan artists will be expected to collaborate and sing about unity and remind Kenyans about the strength and diversity of one people. This has been the pattern in every election cycle and seen timeless music released into the airwaves. Eric Wainaina’s “Daima Mimi Mkenya” is a national anthem for peace and prosperity.
Artists must remember that they are the mirror of society; we are what they portray in the music and indeed it is time for a more enlightened electorate.