By David Mwenda
Last week I told you about why I thought #IfikieWazazi was distasteful and most of you thought I should keep writing about these issues. Well that is why I have been granted a column every Monday. So we are going to be together every Monday and I am so excited about this.
The Kenyan/African art scene has become grown from strength to strength over a period of time. From Music to art to film to writing but one thing still remains a mystery. Why are we not soaring to greater lengths as other countries and continents?
At Teen Network we normally have weekly meetings where we discuss a few things that affect us as a whole. As the meeting ended someone asked if anyone was going to write a tribute to Avicii. For those who used to live in a ditch and came out today well let me explain. On Friday Avicii died at the age of 28. He was one of the very few producers who had me dancing to all of his songs. When he passed I was the first few people who were the first to share on my WhatsApp status that he had passed on. Few hours later everyone was remembering his life his legacy and basically his life well lived and many accomplishments at 28.
That said I came back to think about the few things that irk me as an African and as a Kenyan. I’ll give you an email, in 2015 Paris was thrown into disarray when they experienced a terrorist attack so bad that it had everyone in the world scene talking about terrorism and tougher measures being promised about stricter laws about terrorism. One week later Boko Haram in Nigeria attacked a school and abducted school girls who were travelling. Guess what happened? No world leader no African leader joined the country in mourning or at least helping get troops in the country because you know Africa is used to terrorism and all the nasty things.
Back to the art scene in Kenya and Africa as a whole very few Africans have been able to get to the world stage and leave a mark in the world. The likes of Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Chimananda Ngozi Adichie and Ngugi Wa Thiong’o , Angelique Kidjo who has won a few Grammys, Lupita Nyong’o who scooped an Oscar and many others who have done well and exemplarily.
However one thing that surprises me as a Kenyan is the fact that every time our very own are selected to represent us in the African field and more so in the World stage we end up losing hope quickly and fail to drum up support for them. In 2015 Nyashinski was nominated for MTV Europe Music Award for Best African Act alongside the biggest of the biggest artistes in the continent and instead of most of us voting we ended up questioning whether our numbers will add up and whether he would win which cast some discouragement among many people.
Kenyans and Africans need to start learning get some things right. It is not the numbers that even matter but the fact that we are willing and determined to have someone win and get out there get everyone to vote.
However it is now time for African artistes to stop looking at their noses and diversify their music. It is very funny how Africans claim to have good neighborliness but when it comes to supporting ourselves we are our worst enemies. It is very funny that we are constantly battling each other but if we got together to diversify we would have been gone so far.
It is high time that African artistes started realizing that if they pulled up their socks and churn out even more great content then we would happen go far. We can have many Avicii’s who even when they die at 28 they were able to achieve a lot on the world stage.
Invest and make this your business
It is high time that everyone now started investing in Africa and make this their business. Cooperates now need to take African Artistes more serious and engage with them on how to help them improve their business. I am looking forward to creative companies trading in securities exchange companies.
Today is World Book Day and if you happen to not know who that is it is a day we celebrate great books that we have read over time. My favorite books that I have read that is after the Bible is Mary Higgins Clark’s Pretend You Don’t See Her and A Collection Of African Stories By Many Great African Writers edited by J. De Grandsaigne(this book is hilarious I tell you). What is your favorite book if any tell me on the comment section? HAPPY WORLD BOOK DAY