Lets talk about Genge tone. I won’t lie; I love genge tone. Its catchy, its refreshing, its such a vibe and just makes you wanna move. But like most of us, I never really listen or even understand whatever those kids are singing. I have no idea for instance what “pekejeng” means or sjui “design ya makete” is. Me sjui kabisa but I’ll vibe to the jam cz of the beat and its tempo. Juzi though, my blind “love” for this music genre was brought to question when I listened to this new “Tarimbo” song by Ethic. I was shook y’all. As in, who thought the last line “namwaga bila hata permission” was catchy??? Yaani, the producers, directors na all the crew involved in releasing this song, none of them noticed anything wrong with this line!??
As in, na on top of that, the song has over 500k views on you tube alone. It just got me wondering. Has the Kenyan society become this complacent with rape culture that we even encourage and reward its promotion?? I know we all think Ezekiel Mutua is such a buzz kill; I think so too, but this guy does have some sense when it comes to some issues. His take on this new genre of music is on point. I don’t care much about his noise on ohhh… that the music is promoting moral decadence and all; Wakenya are a sex craved people which is a non-issue to me. It becomes an issue when this moral decadence is directed towards violence against women, their objectification and even their killing. When it gets to this, it’s a No! No! No!
We can sing about lambaing lolo for all eternity; no bother at all. We can shout wamnyonyez hadi kwa airports; I don’t care. But once we start “mwagaing bila permission” that is where we draw the line guys. Once we even start having some stupid kids (Sheddy Empire; silly name tbh) singing on how “watapiga slay queens shoka” that’s where we have to acknowledge our own madness and bring it to a stop! You know, it just makes one wonder, is it that this music is promoting this behavior or is this behavior already in existence and just being portrayed in our music?
How I miss the days za kina Nameless when the Kenyan woman and her beauty was exalted. When guys walikuwa wanasinzia wakituwaza. Siku hizi “dame akipita mmhhh! Wanaguruma” Its such a shame! What happened? Niha twatereire ikinya?
Genge tone is a unique Kenyan sound: but it doesn’t have to be vulgar, derogatory and objectifying. It can still be catchy and vibey without promoting rape culture. We can still scream “parte after parte” or “guthigitha” without promoting the male’s entitlement to female bodies. We can do better Kenyan peeps. We have to do better. If not, tutajipata with a generation of highly misogynistic males who see no fault in rape or femicide and wonder what went wrong. Lets not ignore the power of music in impacting and shaping a society’s culture and morality!