#WajingaNyinyi – King Kaka

For King Kaka, a highly successful purveyor of urban rap music, to release #WajingaNyinyi, a track that speaks truth to power, unsettles the government, is incredibly brave. This is an important addition to the classic protest culture of hip hop and spoken word, and an incredible and powerful fuel to political discourses attempting to imagine Kenya and Kenya’s politics differently. Great production, with pared down beats to allow the bite and power of his penmanship and voice to rule, and a full course of unvanished truth.

t is not that #WanjingaNyinyi by King Kaka tells us what we don’t know. That is not the point. What he serializes is what we talk about daily in Facebook posts and what is splashed on the front page of daily newspapers. What the music does, and this is the reason it can be tagged as revolutionary, is that he translates the dysfunctions of a nation – clothed daily in civil terms – into the raw, gritty, unadorned unpretentious language of the streets.

He does what great protest and revolutionary music does, to translate and transform the complex, into the simple and lucid, into the language of the street, the language of the common man, and in so doing educates the public in a form and medium that transcends the restrictions on public awareness placed by the tools the government has been using to manufacture public consent.

Mainstream mass media, the radios, news, and the TV, as we were taught by Noam Chomsky, can be co-opted by the state and government and deployed as effective and powerful ideological institutions whose job is to carry out system-supportive propaganda function. #WajingaNyinyi speaks to the street, to the common man, to the people who can rise against the government, and that is why the political system is afraid. That is where the power of #WajingaNyinyi lies. He is telling the people to stop being stupid and start holding the system accountable, and no one likes to be told they are wajinga. And you can only prove wewe si mjinga if you act. It is a direct call to action!


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