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Kenyan men in lyrical desert codename stubborn

By | September 11th 2010

By Mill G

If I meet one more man who says his favourite music is country, and his favourite song is Coward of the Country (sic), I will finally write off Kenyan men. Oh and while at it, now that we have the Majimbo system, Kenyan men will finally be able to grasp the concept of county, because the song is actually called Coward of the County.

Not that there is anything wrong with country music, but in a world so rich with musical variety, surely we can’t all get stuck in the nostalgia of the line "You never count your money", unless of course you are from the part of this country that boarders Mt Kenya.

In fact I hear revellers from this area many of who are astute businessmen, only know that one line, so that the DJ puts off the sound at that point and the crowd shouts: "Count your money!"

Let’s face it: Kamaru was the only saving grace for Central Province before the comeback of Mugithi, and even he abandoned Kikuyu music for church choruses.

And if you watch people dancing to Mugithi, you will realise that despite the lyrics raising the body temperature, it is very idle, mos mos, music. That may explain why these guys cannot dance to Soul, Rock and vibrant beats like the South African Kwaito.

The Kambas do have their famous Kilumi dances, but then again these are gym exercises, not recreational music. Plus their voices are so high-pitched, they only operate at High C, far above the rest of us.

lyrically challenged

But men from Western Province and Nyanza take the cake when it comes to music.

Thanks to their rich musical heritage (they grew up changing vinyl records of the likes of Les Wanyika, Maroon Commandoes, and Daudi Kabaka), these guys are fun to hang out with, when they are not wearing their trousers at full mast like those Lingala dancers.

Anyone who grew up on Benga, Ohangla, Soukus, Lingala and such rhythmic, lyrical Kenyan music makes great company for an evening out.

The Coast is another cultural haven where music is celebrated. But like everything else this eclectic area is known for, their music says ‘hamna haraka’, there’s no hurry.

What better music to play in your car on a long distance trip than Bango? And what better lullaby than Taarab?

As for Kisii men, well. If you want to know how badly they are doing, watch Mr Ong’engo on Tafrija.

This is the one area where Tony M beats all you men hands down, because the guy is a lyrical genius — he knows his rock songs word for word. And he has won a few dancing competitions.

Maybe Tony M should open a Music 101 to help his brothers. It would be nice if Kenyan men can be ‘civilised’ to appreciate music — from diverse cultures.

How many men even keep a personal collection of music, of whatever genre?

Majority of Kenyan men are rhythmically and lyrically challenged. Many can’t dance or hold a note. Their lip-synching is often out of sync. If you want to know that our dear brothers are clueless, just try Congolese, South African or West African dudes — these guys have music flowing in their blood.

You also find another annoying group of men: those who ‘feel nothing’ for African music.

These brothers want to be seen as ‘International’, thus affecting exotic tastes in music, even when they don’t understand it.

If you’re going to be a fan, please know your stuff. Ragga, Classical, Reggae, Crunk and Hip Hop are all good, but they can make you look very stupid if you don’t understand them. See Tusker Project Fame auditions for proof.

At least know how to pronounce words right and know a little about the origin and character of the music.

It makes for good conversation and you will be music to our ears.

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