This is where the action really is in Kenyan politics at the moment–ethnic mobilization. Kenyan bloggers and civil society published and circulated very disturbing related song lyrics from three musicians aimed at rallying the Kikuyu around Uhuru against Raila and the ICC and petitioned the National Cohesion and Integration Commission borne out of the post-election violence in 2008. Capital FM reports that the NCIC has “flagged” the matter for scrutiny (let’s check back and see if there is any follow-up):
Popular Kikuyu musicians John DeMathew, Muigai wa Njoroge and Kamande wa Kioi are likely to be investigated after songs sung by each of them were flagged for being ‘inciting’.
The Mugithi singers, who are popular live musicians, are accused of singing songs that border on ‘hate speech’ against Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who is one of the contenders for the top seat in 2013.
The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) flagged the songs, Mwaka wa Hiti’ by DeMathew, Muigai wa Njoroge’s ‘Hague bound’ and ‘Uhuru ni Witu’ by Kamande wa Kioi.
NCIC boss Mzalendo Kibunjia says they were following up with the media council to find out whether the controversial songs had played on any radio stations so that action could be taken against the media houses as well.
In Western Province, this West FM coverage of a campaign rally for Deputy Prime Minister Mudavadi, elected through ODM but now running for president with the new UDF party, gives a flavor for the public side of the campaigns:
He challenged the leaders who want to liberate Kenyans to concentrate on eradicating poverty among Kenyans and reduction of the cost of living pounding them because there is no visible opponent of Kenyans like the colonial whites whom he said were long gone after attaining of independence.
The Sabatia MP insisted that he should be given chance to open the door for a Luhya presidency after he was the first one to become a Luhya vice president that saw the late VP Michael Kijana Wamalwa and Uncle Moody Awori follow suit.
At the same time Khalwale and Kituyi affirmed that Mudavadi is the most experienced politician of the day among the Luhya leaders and thus is the prospective person to seek presidency as compared to others such as Eugene and Jirongo.
Mukhisa said that Wamalwa can be a prospective leader at a later period but felt that Mudavadi is ready to go for the seat now. He said the Luhya community has got a vast experience of assisting leaders from other communities to access power and thus can use the same experience to help one of their own accesses the same power.
Khalwale and Mugali cautioned against Luhya divisions which they said will be an advantage to their opponents and hence essence for the community to work as a team in their endeavors.
“This is now the time for the voters from the Bukusu nation to hold hands with voters from Maragoli nation and vote together and work together because we want the Luhya nation to speak and speak in one voice,” Khalwale said.
Am a kikuyu and surely some of the songs by Muigai are extremist and full of tribal theatrics that have never appealed to me. He is a confused artist and a jack of all trade producing music ranging from Gospel, political, circular and customary.
As a Kikuyu i do not need anyone to purport to be representing me in the tribal arena. However i consider the other 2 musicians more mature in their lyrics though Kamande is more of comical singer while demathew sings songs are full of riddles that are at times hard to tell the hidden meaning. He is however a big talent with a million dollar voice.
However if all the songs in all languages were to be scrutinized am sure a lot more would fit the bill of being hate speech. May be it was just a mere coincidence that only Kikuyu songs have been identified but that is a great step in the right direction to ensure the country remain harmonious.
………..1, 2, 3 mic testing
Mike, thanks for the detailed analysis. I don’t doubt that there are examples in other languages–in general I would think that widespread exposure for all of it would be the most helpful thing. In the run up to the last election there was plenty of this but the media took the approach of making only oblique references, if any at all, which may have contributed to some complacency.