The last few months have given the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) sleepless nights. Kenyans who didn’t know KFCB now do. This is after some of youths decided to go awry and do the unthinkable: releasing songs that a normal intellectual cannot dare utter even in the privacy of their homes.
It’s unimaginable how a normal person would have the guts to write and, even worse, the audacity to sing and release such songs to the public. In as much as we commend the young lads for amelioration from their former wayward ways and doing something constructive with their lives, they should not use it to propagate immoral culture of spewing obscenities without a care in the world nor an ounce of responsibility.
Dirty language & videos
But most importantly, these youths need counselling. In their former life, it would have been okay to utter such lewd words with their circle of friends but what they don’t realize is that they are now reaching a wider sphere of people. Most people dance to the beat and tune without understanding the words.
A mature individual should tell them actions have consequences. They need to realize there is an unspoken vow with the world to be agents of positive change and vessels of peace and good deeds. They should pass on positivity.
Why is the Kenyan music filled with x-rated videos? Who said for a music video to be hyped it must have nude women and men degrading them? It is very noticeable that the men always look dapper in their three piece suits while they demean the women with their words and having them wear close to nothing in their videos.
Imitation of western culture is the biggest and worst influence on young people in Kenya. But as a human being with a conscience and common sense, why would you go to so much length as to sing and produce music that you know you wouldn’t want your daughter to listen to?
The most paramount question is, would you take that video to your mother and show her as your means of livelihood? Let the westerners do what they please, but let us uphold our morals.
The government announced that it would release money to musicians in this time of the Covid-19 pandemic to motivate them to entertain Kenyans from social media platforms. But the most pertinent question is; why can’t the government put stringent and punitive measures on the kind of content that is being released into the public?
Has the government lost control of its citizens? Are some citizens untouchables or above the law? Media houses should have stipulated terms and conditions for every song that is brought to them to air. There should be no abusive content of any sort.
Musicians all over the world are making lots of money from motivational music, clean and enjoyable music videos and others from religious music. Yet here in Kenya, small boys and girls are masquerading naked and twerking to make money that cannot even feed them for a day! They destroy their reputation for music that will be forgotten in a week.
Music should be positive
Music is a very sensitive industry. Music should bring hope and a positive change to societal behaviour. In most instances we have seen music become the force of change that was needed at a crucial time in countries all over the world. In South African, for instance, there was Sarafina movie ‘Freedom is coming’ and the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ song, which is widely sung all over the world. Lucky Dube encouraged people to embrace their colour in ‘Different colours’.
There are so many songs across the board that bring clarity in one’s mind and the encouragement they need in difficult times faced in life.The encouraging songs by one of the world’s legend of country music Kenny Rogers, will forever be remembered even after his death. Yvonne Chaka Chaka’s ‘Motherland’ remains an all-time hit. These are singers whose songs are widely known for the good message they pass on.
This makes one wonder what happened to Kenyans? Even those who claim to be gospel musicians are more confused than the secular artists who at times sing better songs. The music industry in Kenya has become a battle for mediocrity, fame and popularity.
It is a booming business but the people involved have no thought on their future and reputation. All they think about is singing trash to fill a few people’s ears. What about 3 to 4 years to come? Will their songs be relevant and what will be the impact?
Before singing, they should consider the target audience, the message and the period. That will help in making them better in their craft.But not just waking up and singing whatever crude words fill their ‘high’ minds.
Dance to the words
Successful musicians build a good and lasting reputation for themselves. They are a brand that is recognizable worldwide. They sing and the world listens. That is what a good musician should be: a person to be emulated and whose songs and the example they set speak for themselves. Let our Kenyan musicians change for the better.
Tanzania has taken very stringent measures to make sure that their musicians do not get obscene. In as much as KFCB is trying, we need to be more punitive and thorough to ensure this rotten culture dies an unceremonious death. Most bands across the world are making so much money and their videos are clean.
Let our fellow Kenyans learn that before you dance to the tune, understand and fully comprehend the lyrics. In singing them it becomes a daily mantra. As a musician, what mantra are people professing each day in your name? Are they obscenities or impactful words that encourage, shape and model a person to become better?
Let your words build and not destroy. As the Bible tells us, we shall stand before Christ and be judged by Him. The most pertinent question is, What will you say?
Dorris Kyalo, a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance Major) student, is currently pursuing CPA. Email: [email protected]