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Monday, June 25, 2012

Hate Speech 101: Is Mzalendo Kibunja on his master's payroll?

I listen to Kikuyu music, both secular and gospel. A lot of Kikuyu music is very informative and the beat is quite catchy.

Currently, I'm jamming to Agiginyani by Shiru wa GP. An awesome keep-your-head-up gospel song.

But my attention has been drawn to an emerging genre of Kikuyu music that is inflammatory, provocative and in very bad taste. In a country that is yet to heal from the post-election violence of 2008, these songs are a harbinger of bad tidings.

I will not sit back and watch my country burn again. This post is blowing the whistle. I do not know the extent of the fire that these songs have caused. What I know is that John DemathewKamande wa Kioi and Muigai Wa Njoroge are some of the more popular Kikuyu musicians with mega sales of their VCDs. Thus I shudder to imagine the number of households that are playing these songs.

For the many who do not understand Kikuyu, I have translated snippets of the songs and in Demathew’s case, explained the nuances as he sings in parables. Please ask your Kikuyu friends to corroborate this.

Uhuru ni Witu (Uhuru is Ours) – Kamande wa Kioi


Translated snippets:
Greetings people of the house of Gikuyu and Mumbi. I bring you a message from all Kikuyu musicians. This is a message from God. Uhuru is the Moses of the Kikuyu nation. He is meant to move Kikuyus from Egypt to Canaan. Do not agree to be divided. Let all votes go to him. He is ours. He is anointed by God, poured oil on.

Raila, there is a call. Go to Mama Ngina’s house, a king has been born there. Once there ask where Uhuru is seated and pour oil on him. Just like Samuel did for David in the Bible. Stop chasing the wind Agwambo, go to Icaweri and anoint Uhuru.

You thump your chest about Hague, is Hague your mother’s? There is a curse from God. Philistines who do not circumcise cannot lead Israel. When Abraham stressed God, he was told to go get cut, even you General of Migingo, your knife is being sharpened.

Watch the entire song here.

Hague Bound – Muigai Wa Njoroge and Muhiko
Translated snippets:
Question: If it was you who is being pushed to The Hague what would you do?

Answer: I would call my family and divide up my property and then ask my mother to pray for me.

Question: What if you knew that Hague you are being pushed there by an uncircumcised man who wants to push you there and take over your wife and all your wealth? A man who can do anything to ensure you are in problems.

Answer: There it is better to die. Things for a man are not governed by an uncircumcised man. I would kill him. Its better they increase my charges.

Question: What would you tell your crying supporters as you are being shipped to Hague?

Answer: I would tell them to pray for me and know I am being persecuted for my love of my community.

Question: When you get to Hague how you would ensure the white man does not cheat you?

Answer: I would ask for proceedings to be done in Kikuyu.

Question: When on the dock what would you be thinking of the uncircumcised man who is the source of your predicament?

Answer: I would ask God to forgive him. I would also ask that he gets circumcised so that he matures mentally. I would also ask Kenyans to be very wary of that man.

Watch the entire song here.

Mwaka wa hiti (The year of the hyena) – Demathew

Translated and explained snippets:

As Demathew I prophesize and let the stones hear me if men wont.

It is now the year of the hyena. Who will teach you and your ears are blocked?

When a man is seated he sees further than a boy on top of a tree.

You are like a greedy hyena seeing a man walk and following him hoping that his arm will drop off. You follow him till he boards the train and the arm does not drop and you never eat. (A reference to all that may benefit from ICC)

Before Jesus was crucified He stood in the court Judge Pilato and he answered all questions, Judge Pilato said Jesus is free but the crowd asked that a thief be freed instead. (ICC will show Uhuru’s innocence).

Where are you (Peter Kenneth) from? If you were one of us, you would be pained by the people burnt in Kiambaa church. My brother lost his property in Kisumu, how can you tell us he (Raila) is our community’s friend.

Father (Jomo Kenyatta) I feel sad when I see your son (Uhuru) being persecuted by men of ill-will and a woman (Martha Karua) is carrying their bags.

In-law (Kalonzo) things are not going well for you now. You are clueless and your matters are now being discussed by women in the market. But I still remember how you saved me (after 2007 elections) when leopards had attacked me.

Watch the entire song here.

After listening to these three songs I shuddered. If the leading lights of Kikuyu music are doing this, then how much more prevalent is it? Are other communities also producing such inciteful vernacular songs?

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