Thursday, November 27, 2008

It’s Time For Our Revolution

You know am really growing restless about everyone complaining about our MP’s refusal to have their allowances taxed (yawn)…I mean, if politicians taxed with the ‘burden’ of enacting laws don’t want their benefits taxed, what you gonna do bout it? Or in the words of the now famous super MC, Super DJ, super Producer, “Mta do warrr?
One trait that really exacerbates me about the citizens of this nation is our lip service expertise. We simply love to talk. We don’t do ish, we just jibber jabber, jabber jibber. And even when we act on our lip service, we have to be incited by the very same politicians who we are so angry about! Damn! Politicians have learnt how to play us like marionettes. We can’t act on our own without them.
We can talk all we want. We can voice our anger at these greedy politicians at the top of our lungs. But if we don’t do something about it, things ain’t never gonna change! The politicians are going to keep getting away with murder, and we’re going to keep being manipulated by them every 5 years.
It was American president and inventor Thomas Jefferson who once said, “Every generation needs a new revolution…” At this moment in our nation’s history, no statement is more profound
As a rule of thumb, historians usually measure a generation as 30 years. Look at these historical facts about the 'Change Generations' of this great nation;
1950s: After about half a century of colonialism, the youth of that generation put actions to words. Using politics, pangas and pistols, they did something to ensure the evil British rule was brought to an end. In about a decade Kenya was a free nation
1980s: Independence brought with it a new kind of tyranny – dictatorship and misuse of power. The youth of the 80’s didn’t just complain about the oppression, they sacrificed everything to put an end to this tyranny. By 1992, Kenya was a multi party democracy
2010s: Last year, these selfish politicians took us to the brink of civil war. That was 2007. In less than 2 years, the revolution that our generation will be remembered by should be well underway. The spark that will light this flame is within each one of us. It engulfs us everyday. It pricks our soul every time we choke with anger at the selfish ways of these politicians. It’s up to us to release this spark. It is our duty to link this spark to those of millions of youth across this nation great nation. Its time for these sparks to fuse and engulf into one great, unstoppable inferno. It is time for this generation to stand up and stake their claim in history. It's time for Kenya's 3rd Revolution.

So, let’s all stop talking, let’s get to acting. I promise you, as history is the greatest teacher on earth, by the 2020s – the actions of our generation, we will have changed this nation forever! And if we don't take any actions now, history will judge us harshly.
To end this jibber jabber, I find that the words of Bob Marley's 'Revolution' anthem couldn't have painted a more explicit picture of our current scenario:
Never make a politician grant you a favour;
They will always want to control you forever,
So if a fire make it burn
And if a blood make ya run
Rasta de 'pon top, can't you see?
So you can't predict the flop

How To Start A Revolution by Henry David Thoreau
Want some pointers of how this generation can start spreading the revolution spark? Click on the link below...

Monday, November 24, 2008

How Wahu Can Become Africa's Next Pop Queen

If you believe in miracles, then Wahu winning the Best Female Award at the recent MTV Africa (MAMA) Awards rates up there…close to walking on water, from where am sitting. Quite honestly, I sincerely didn't think she had a chance against Naija songstress Asa. And from her reaction after being announced the winner of the award; so did she.
If you’re an avid watcher of Pan African music shows, a la MTV Base and Channel O, you’ll have noticed that Asa has cut a niche for herself as someone akin to our continent’s very own Erykah Badu. Based in Paris, Asa has opened for superstar acts like John Legend, Snoop Dogg and Akon. Her hit song, ‘Mr. Jailer’ has been a cross border sensation, causing ripples from Abuja to Cape Town.
These are the facts that might’ve been going through Wahu’s head the moment she got the MAMA nomination and realized she was up against Asa. Pardon Wahu’s reaction, but by scooping the Best Female Artist award, she knew she’d done an Obama over Asa. Kenyan’s truly run this planet!
In my most humble opinion, for Wahu, winning the MAMA was the easy part – living up to the expectations that come with winning such an award will be the monumental task. Of all the nominees, she was the only one without an album to her credit! A look at the CV’s of the female nominees tells you that all those nominated have taken their music to an international level far higher than Wahu’s. In fact, a lot of female African artists, especially from Nigeria and South Africa, who were not even nominated, have been hard on the grind making waves internationally.
So what does our superstar Wahu do to ensure that she becomes Kenya’s first truly female star with continental appeal?
Well, for one, her song “Sweet Love” kicked a**! It was a truly African song that caught continents attention. We at home could tell that it was Wahu singing and Nameless behind the lyrics, but the rest of the continent couldn't - they just loved the song!

So Ms. Mathenge, the thing you should do; keep Nameless as your ghost writer. Monski has got this Afropop, Highlife, Osibissa-type thing going on with his lyrics and he’ll make a pretty good ally for you when it comes to taking your music to the next level.
You caught the continents attention on a reggae tip – you did it in grand style; don’t forsake the conscious rhythms. Keep your music reggae. You can explore with Afropop beats – but keep your music predominantly reggae. Africa needs another Lucky Dube and your mission should be to fit into his shoes! No small feat, but I believe you can do it. More so, because Kenya doesn't really have a definitive beat that's recognised around the continent the way Nigeria have their Afrobeat, South Africa with their Kwaito, DRC with their Lingala...
Collaborate with artists from West and South Africa (especially Nigeria and South Africa). These are the countries that define Afropop on this continent. A duo with DBanj or HHP (Hip Hop Pantsula) wouldn’t hurt.
Consolidate your dominance of East & Central Africa. The project you did with Bobbi Wine was great, but it wasn’t you in control – it was Shell and MTV. You need to continue working with the regions heavy-hitters; in your own terms.
And finally, don’t forget to look for JB or Werra Son from the DRC, they will break you into the Francophone market, eventually into France and ultimately Europe. The French appreciate good music and that’s the country most Africans use to break through into greater Europe.
Congratulations on your big win and keep up the momentum Wahu.