We all know the prime role of the media plays in terms of informing, educating and entertaining us. We also get a lot of our knowledge watching TV, reading newspapers and the internet.
Africa, in the past has always been tainted in a negative light by international media and has been painted as a disease ridden war-zone with famine and poverty taking most of the headlines. As Africa’s people and its economies rise and start to change perceptions, there seem to be a lot happening on the continent, be it in arts, music, and culture. Kenya, is one of the countries whose headlines in music and culture having changing such perceptions, here are a few of the headlines that featured in 2016:
2016 MTV Best Group (MAMA’s) band have been creating major ripples throughout the world, appearing on CNN’s African Voice narrating their story. African Voices is a feature that seeks to highlight individuals who are pushing culture, breaking grounds and using their craft to propel themselves to a greater height. The boys narrated their journey from recording late-night ‘fellowship’ to sending Cds to the White House and dancing with president Obama. They also featured on The BBC World Report to speak about their come up, what they stand for and their journey so far. Sauti Sol have been a remarkable export of New age Kenyan Music.
— Sauti Sol (@SautiSol) December 9, 2016
The photographer turn Activist is well known within 254 Circles as the guy who is front in line protesting issues of corruption, bad governance, generally, the guy parading normal citizens to stand up and fight for their rights. Well, Boniface was featured on CNN as well. He explains his journey of covering the news to making the news. His trouble with the law enforcers and what his daily life looks like.
Brian Wanyama Of Matwana Culture
Matatu culture is alive and vibrant in Nairobi. If you are not familiar with the culture, it’s basically ‘Museums on wheels’-where you see graffiti, hear music, custom designs, crazy lighting and the biggest form of transport in our city. The government issues threats now and then which can see matatu culture fade into the dark, Brian comes in as a guy shooting and documenting this culture every day. He is covered by CNN doing what he loves best, from boarding a matatu, enjoying the on-board services like free wifi, alighting at different stages, filming and later uploading his work on Facebook and Instagram. Brian tells his story why he does it and why he is passionate about this unique Kenyan culture.
He is a man in multiple caps, film director, photographer, songwriter and a visual artist. His recent work of art – The Bones Remember– an exhibition that examined the evolution of African Spirituality was covered and had some traction by BBC Africa. The exhibition by Chuchu had a goal to make Africans aware of their lost spirituality. Raising pertinent questions of where we fit, what color is God or Angles made Chuchu get the spotlight on his art piece.
African people are always doing great things and if the international media keep focusing on the good, who knows, the world might view us differently.