Over the years that we have been doing HipHop, what we have been lacking as a matter of fact, is a common vision and mission guiding us as HipHoppas across the board. Corporate entities, political parties, institutions of learning, and all serious initiatives are normally guided by a common vision and mission. See, for the success of HipHop to be inevitable, there must be a bonding within the HipHop community itself throughout the country and beyond! This bonding can be achieved by a common vision and mission that will guide all HipHoppas in Kenya if not Africa in general, since we have a common plight throughout Africa. A HipHop artist will not view another HipHop artist with suspicion or competition, but rather view them as a COMRADE in this mission!
The mistake that we have been doing over the years in my view, is copying what the mainstream does by competing as Brand Products, yet, HIPHOP IS MORE THAN THE BEATS AND RHYMES. This competition has greatly affected HipHop with some players sabotaging the efforts of others purely for fear of competition and greatly contributing to the divisions and diminishing standards in the music and entertainment industry in general. Diminishing standards eventually affect all, across the entertainment board. This notion has led to confusion allowing a tremendous reaping by the mainstream’s whack artists at the cost of genuine talent on the ground.
From the history of HipHop in America, the HipHop community looked upon their social leaders for direction. HipHop is said to have developed in the Bronx as a result of people following the advice of their leaders such as Kwame Tourre and Malcolm X. Since the people had been segregated into the projects which at the time were afflicted by the “Heroin Epidemic and Poverty”, amongst other grievances, they developed something for themselves not wanting to be like the mainstream that had neglected them, or be dictated by anyone. They wanted real change. That is how HipHop developed!
How many epidemics are we faced with each day…is it Unemployment, Digital Divide, H.I.V and AIDS, Heroin and Cocaine, Crime, Cults, Extreme Poverty, Starvation, Gender Imbalance in Accessing Education, Corruption, and Tribalism. We have 30 billionaires and 33 million poverty stricken individuals in Kenya! Yet we all want to live freely and “enjoy life”!
If I may quote our founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta in his Independence speech………”At home we have a duty to ensure that all our citizens are delivered from the afflictions of poverty, ignorance and disease, otherwise freedom for many of our people will neither be complete nor meaningful”…..”My friends, we are now an independent nation and our destiny is henceforward in our hands. I call on every Kenyan citizen to join me today in this great adventure of nation building. In the spirit of HARAMBEE, let us all work together so as to mold our country that it will set an example to the world in progress, toleration and high endeavor.”
HipHoppas regardless of where they are!!! in whichever city or town!!!!, have one thing in common, they are not given much attention by most media houses, promoters, corporate event organizers, etc, yet they have tremendous talent, leadership skills, education potential, genuine social concern, creativity and so much more that is of high caliber! Let us see this as an opportunity that unites us, and use it as a factor that unifies the movement and its driving force!
We should believe and take to heart the advice and vision of such great African leaders as our founding father and come together to formulate a vision and mission that will ensure economic development for us as a HipHop community through creation of entrepreneurship opportunities as well as talent management, exposure and promotion, guaranteeing peace and also ensuring real freedom free from a worry of any kind such as to whether or not your meal for the day is guaranteed…coz as it is on the ground, we are not yet free my people…it is the truth!!!!
The good to come out of this vision and mission is that, people will be guided by a common bond and spirit of aiming towards attaining success positively so as to bring real change, regardless of ones background or current situation, and therefore working together seriously avoiding any sideshows that may threaten to derail the venture! Let us not allow anyone to define for us what success is! WE KNOW REAL SUCCESS LAYS IN REAL FREEDOM. Express this in everything you do as a HipHoppa and we are bound to witness changes.
Some radio deejays, media promoters, event organizers….etc, tend to forget that people look upon them as leaders within the industry and the immediate society as well. They lie openly that listeners don’t appreciate HipHop, while it is actually them and not the listeners who create the play lists that they air through their stations! They are the main beneficiaries of the divisions experienced in HipHop….These guys have a great opportunity to contribute to this country and be part of a great change by also becoming part of this vision and mission that is intended to create an alternative source of livelihood for the multitude of youth out there through embracing HipHop culture……History shall favour them greatly. My advice to them is that “a good leader is one who is willing to share power with others so that they are empowered, that is, they become freer, more autonomous and therefore more capable. The utmost satisfaction of a true leader lies in the growth and development of those they lead” Tom Marshall. If these brothers and sistas view themselves as role models and celebs, then they should start acting like some.
Picture this, the majority of youth are jobless and they are now parents as well, it means that we have several generations already threatened by poverty and our security seems increasingly vulnerable by the day as a result of the poverty. The so called “middle class and elite” industry players do not feel secure here either!
Yet, in spite of all this, my friends, I see a great opportunity ahead of us which is only achievable through a common vision and mission that will bond HipHoppas across any imaginable boundary in this country. WE NEED AVISION AND MISSION TO UNIFY AND USE HIPHOP AS THE VEHICLE TOWARDS REAL TRANSFORMATION!