Let’s talk entertainment for a second today. Kenyan entertainment. Okay, this is where all of you ladies who think Rabbit is just an animal close the tab and move on to other businesses online. Aye?
Last weekend I had a heated Twitter war with one of Kenya’s top (Yuck!) deejays. DJ Andie, he of Homeboyz Radio and Homegrown T.V programme on KBC every Sunday from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Yes, I still watch KBC. Speaking of which, someone hook me up with the Programs Controller over there. Surely, how you gon’ have a Gospel Show on a Saturday and then a secular one on a Sunday? No disrespect to the Protestants but Sunday is the universally proclaimed day of worship this side of the Sahara. On a Saturday, all I want to see in front of me are bottles, bottles, more bottles and perhaps Vera Sidika’s derriere. Not baseless rants from Willy Paul on how his search for the perfect wife has been unproductive. What, you couldn’t keep Pendo either?
See I started watching Homegrown when I realized it was the only local programme, besides Mambo Mseto (though Willy M. Tuva has always seemed more inclined towards the Bongo flank), that truly endorsed local talent. That was way back in high school. Rabbit had just done Swahili Shakespeare, Jay A had only released his first mainstream track, Clap yo’ hands, and Camp Mulla were still…well, Camp Mulla. I remember this because I had an argument in within the confines of a classroom somewhere in Yala with a few colleagues of mine (Allan, Kinsley, Gilbert na Clinton stand up) on who between Jay A and Camp Mulla were the real deal. Kinsley, Gilbert, Clinton and I picked Jay A while Allan stuck to Camp Mulla. Then Camp Mulla got nominated for B.E.T and he shoved the middle finger to our faces. Fast forward, Camp Mulla outstayed their welcome, Jay A is now on Coke Studio Africa season 2, arguably the biggest project ever for any local artist, and if RapNairobi is anything to go by, he’s set to put to pen-to-paper on an International deal whose details they “still can’t reveal at this time”. Let me just put it out there at this point, to you showbiz ‘bloggers’, that I have never been a fan of this cliché either. Not one bit. W.T.F do you mean you can’t reveal at this time? So why the hell are you even running the story in the first place? It’s those juicier details you’re sitting on that we’re more interested in dumbass! Not you Uncle Chim, you’re a darling (no homo!) Meanwhile though, Allan recently got his head into the music industry as well, under the stage name ‘Aldiz’ (look him up on Mdundo…brilliant rapper) and it was only fair that I become his manager. Do I hear a Hallelujah somewhere? No? Ok.
So where were we again? Yeah, Homegrown. Anyway, so when I started watching Homegrown it was hosted by two of my most favorite Radio/T.V sweethearts, Miss, or Mishy, Amina (I was just kidding about the sweetheart bit Mr. Rabar) and Mwalimu Rachel (call me). On the decks were the one and only camera-shy chubby-cheeked DJ Hassan. By then, and I stand corrected about this, but my only perception of the show was that it was a strictly local entertainment programme. And it was perfect, I never missed a single episode. Heck, I even ditched the normal family mid-morning service for the 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. one just so I could rush back home and get my weekly dose of Kenya’s finest at peace, devoid of my mother’s incessant errands. Then Amina and Mwalimu both got knocked up (pardon my language!) so DJ Hassan had to host the show and a new DJ was brought in to fill his huge shoes at the decks. DJ Andie. Months later into the swap and something changed. I can’t really tell if it’s the management that changed or they just had an emergency meeting and decided that local music wasn’t giving the other Sunday programmes enough run for their money but somehow in between Octopizzo’s usual rants of “Namba Nanee baibyyy” and Willy Paul’s outcry to God to allow him call Him (see what I did there?) ‘Mpenzi’, Davido started creeping in with ‘Damiduro’, whatever the hell that means. Then Wizkid started looking for Caro and Mafiki-something got the speakers going with ‘Khona’, again…whatever the hell that means! And flesh by flesh, the West and South Africans tore our local artistes to bits. Why was I not surprised when Abbas launched a complaint to MCSK regarding his royalties?
Now, my argument with DJ Andie started when he played a Tiwa Savage track that sent my whole system swirling with rage. I couldn’t take the hogwash anymore. Why was he playing a Naija track on a supposedly local-content T.V programme? I was in the house with my elder sister and cousin (don’t even think about it) both of whom seemed strangely amused by my anger so I immediately tweeted the guy, asking why he had played Tiwa Savage. That was when the war began. He even mocked me for a second there when he rolled out Davido’s ‘Aye’ and I tweeted him inquiring yet again and he replied with a sly “Na Bado” comment. But don’t trust everything I tell you, here are snapshots of how the conversation went:
Then the guy went M.I.A when I requested to be played ‘Nishazoea’ by Rabbit- Kaka Sungura. Just like that! I wasn’t harsh, was I?
A few weeks back, SDE did a story on how Rabbit had walked out on a meeting simply because Kiss T.V’s DJ Xclusive had overstretched his freedom of speech and declared that West African music was much better and was being received more positively by the fans than local music. That’s the level of patriotism if you ask me. And you’re still wondering why he’s at the Coke Studio and you with your fake English accent are still struggling down there? Seriously though, if you still think Rabbit is just an animal I don’t understand how you’ve come this far.
Here are the facts, Kenyan artistes are receiving lesser and lesser airplay by the minute and our very own deejays are the perpetrators of the impending music genocide. Like I said, you don’t have to believe everything I tell you, just tune to Kiss 100 one of these fine days and jot down the number of times you hear ‘Million pound girl’ by Fuse Off Da Ground then wait for Sauti Sol’s ‘Nishike’. My wallet is not one of my friendliest items but I’ll buy you a beer or two if you don’t fall asleep waiting. Or perhaps you could set a date with DJ Pinye and Mista Prime one of these chilly evenings on The Beat and carry out your statistic. And while you’re at it you could make a stop over on Str8Up with Ian Mugoya and his pack of noise-makers.
I applaud the Gospel deejays. Only one or two International songs receive airplay when you see DJ Moh behind the wheels, er…decks, on Crossover 101. Kiss T.V too, I believe has a segment for local music only. I appreciate it. Sincerely, I do. How about the rest of you? My war rests solely not on our deejays, it expands to y’all too. Stop talking about how explicit ‘Nishike’ and ‘Mfalme wa mapenzi’ are then go feasting your eyeballs on Nicki Minaj’s naked openly artificial butt in ‘High School’. Which brings me to the hypocrisy of Kenyans on social media. ‘Nishike’ boasts half a million plus views while ‘Mfalme wa Mapenzi’ claims a clean 300, 000+ views on YouTube, barely 3 months into its release. Surely, who’s been watching these videos if they’re as gross as we claim them to be? Yo’ Momma? (Again, my language!)
Get behind the wheel, support your own. How do you think Davido won at the B.E.T Awards? I gat nothing but love for the West and South Africans. But not at the expense of our own. Octopizzo works just as hard as Ice Prince, Sage sings just as well as Lola Rae, Sauti Sol are just as perfect as Mi Casa and, damn, Sanaipei Tande has just as smooth a thigh as Tiwa Savage. Show them your damn support for crying out loud. It’s about time!!!
But then again, like has been the case with the previous writers on this topic before me, we’ll motivate each other for 2 seconds then sweep it all under the carpet the next. Well, I just hope the traffic was worth it while it lasted. *Evil laugh*
*Puts earplugs back on. Jams to Nishazoea, Hala, We be happening, Biashara Remix. Then goes back to bed*