There has been an burgeoning hiphop movement in East Africa for many years, to document the history here wouldn’t do justice to the work that many East African creative minds have tried to do over time. However one person always comes to mind when it comes to connecting East Africa (or more importantly Kenyan hiphop) with the Western world. Michael Wanguhu has been on a quest to advocate for all Kenyan artists, all Kenyan producers and all Kenyan entertainers in ways they will never come to appreciate until a few decades from today.
It saddens me further when I look at the tourism efforts that the Kenyan Government exerts on these hocus pocus conferences and meaningless newspaper Ads and page inserts on US/UK magazines to reach out to the Western communities. While all along you have soldiers and advocates for your country, busy trying to preach Kenya to the masses in ways you would never imagine. How much would it cost to support Kenyan producers, artists, directors, ambassadors for change – people who wake up and sleep about Kenya. The Michael Wanguhu’s the Wanuri Kahius, the Kimathis (Jamhuri Wear), the Wangeci’s (Kipepeo), the Uhuru Clothings (Tom). All these people are silent merchants of a country that’s wanting to tell people about its story its beauty, its journey, its changes, its growth.
So when I see people like Mike doing more work around the East African community, I am always compelled to pay attention. Because people like Mike tell tales of Africa that don’t have to do with poverty and struggling. They talk about the Africa I know, which has nothing to do with Maasai’s or AIDS (as much as these are realities) they don’t affect me directly. I grew up in an estate with water, with tarmac, with food, with decent friends and different set of dynamics. To me the artists who paint this picture are the kinds of artists I am normally drawn to, and I think thats why the whole urban scene has taken off in Africa. You have people P-Square talking about feel good music…
Michael Wanguhu has one documentary under his belt – hiphop colony for those who slept on it. He is currently working on Ni Wakati Movement – which by FAR – from my perspective is going to be one of his best work for years to come. Without giving too much away – please check out the website and listen to the track that he has sambazad for the public. This the official sound track of the new documentary.
listen to Red Black & Green here:[audio:http://files.getmziki.com/Red_Black_&_Green.mp3]
download the track here: