King Kaka's song should be judged for its political relevance, not controversy

By RAPHAEL MUCHIRI WANJOHI | Wednesday, Dec 18th 2019 at 11:13
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Kennedy Ombima alias King Kaka released the song, “Wajinga Nyinyi” (You Fools) a few days ago. That song is now trending everywhere, on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, among other media channels due to its harsh criticism of Kenyan voters and corrupt politicians.

It is highly controversial because the singer explicitly blames voters and politicians. However, the song has immense political value, especially now when Kenya is facing problems of corruption, youth unemployment, increased national debt, etc.

But what exactly is King Kaka saying in this song? The lyrics are spoken in Sheng language, but this is a translation of some of the lines into English.

The first line that elicited a lot of reactions from netizens is “Si mnajua nyinyi voters ndio washenzi” (I guess you voters know that you’re fools). Here, the singer is blaming voters for electing politicians based on tribe. This is very true. That is what we, as Kenyans, do in every general election. We vote for leaders based on the tribes (Kikuyu, Luo, Kalenjin, Luhya, etc.). So we are to be blamed for that.

There is a stanza where King Kaka says,

“Ati Waiguru ako kwa office (That Waiguru is still in office)

Na story ya NYS tulisashahau (And that we, Kenyans forgot the NYS scandal)

Biro Moja alibuy 8 thao, Biro tunanunuanga mbao?” (She bought one biro pen for Sh8, 000 and yet we buy it for 20 bob only)

The artist here is criticizing Anne Waiguru, the Governor of Kirinyaga County, for getting away with money from the NYS corruption scandal. Although she was never charged for looting money, it is public knowledge, through news publications, that she was at the center of the scandal at NYS a few years ago.

In another line, King Kaka says, “Karibu to Kenya, the Republic of China” (Welcome to Kenya, the Republic of China). Here, the artiste is implying that Kenya is now becoming part of Chinese territory because of the loans we owe them. The Chinese people are here in plenty, working in construction projects, IT sector, selling mitumba clothes, etc. King Kaka is right; China is slowly taking over most of the vital resources of Kenya --- seaports, railways, roads, etc.

Other important lines that address political, economic, and educational issues may include;

1) Na account ya daughter ya Waititu iko na depo ya 100 mita

2) Si basi wakam kwa church watoe pesa tulitoa kama tax-Refering to Ruto and his donations to Church fundraisers

3) Flesh urudi kwa dust

4) Na ujinga yenu mnaweka students hawajalipa kwa gazeti HELB

Wajinga Nyinyi!

5) Naskia mafuta imepanda tena

Inatoka Turkana ndio irudi tena

Hesabu ya 1 plus 1 inawachenga”

6) Laptop ni multi billion project, na walimu ushago hawana lights

7) KRA wanatuibia ndio wapatie wezi pesa

8) Huduma number kumbe ilikuwa tu ka scam flani?

9) Ata kama tuko na Kenyatta, ndio maana I strongly feel hatujapata Uhuru!-The concluding line where King Kaka says that even if we have Kenyatta as the President, he strongly feels that we have not achieved freedom (Uhuru).

If you read the above lines and stanzas, you’ll realize that the artiste highlights all the issues affecting this country-corruption, ballooning Chinese loans, HELB loans for students, 8-4-4 system, Huduma Namba, Laptop Project, etc. All these projects and issues are surrounded by a lot of controversy among Kenyans who believe that money was misappropriated.

In my opinion, I think the song is blaming both voters and corrupt politicians. “Wajinga Nyinyi” refers to voters who elect non-performers and chose their candidates based on tribe. The phrase also refers to the leaders (MPs, Governors, and Senators) who have been implicated in corruption cases.

The song is an exemplary work of art where King Kaka expresses his thoughts, anger, and grievances to the voters and politicians. A few years from now, the song will be remembered for its explicit rebuke to “dirty” leaders and foolish voters.

The song’s political value is demonstrated by how the artiste outlines the political issues affecting this country. King Kaka speaks on behalf of many Kenyans who believe that there should be a change in the Kenyan government. The song has the potential to start demonstrations or even a revolution with angry Kenyans seeking to oust the corrupt Jubilee government.

Using music or art to express feelings, thoughts, and emotions was there, even in the early days. King Kaka has successfully painted a clear image of the current political context where politicians are looting public funds, and Kenyans choose to vote for them instead of choosing honest leaders. Therefore, despite its controversy, I think “Wajinga Nyinyi” is a great piece of music with a significant political value to Kenyans and the Jubilee government.

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