In anticipation of Kenya’s national election in March 2013, East Africa’s most-beloved singer Samba Mapangala has recorded “Chagua Chagua” (Vote in Peace), an important new song that encourages people to choose their leaders wisely.
Echoing the call by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and others for a fair democratic process free of fraud and violence, Samba reminds Kenyan citizens that a peaceful country will succeed economically in the future to the benefit of all, and can set an example for other African nations to follow.
Samba Mapangala is renowned in East Africa for his many songs that counsel, teach and warn people to consider the consequences of their actions. The idea for “Chagua Chagua” was suggested by a Virunga fan in Kenya who asked him to compose a “message song” for the upcoming elections, saying Samba should encourage all citizens to register and to vote, and not to sell their voter’s cards: “With your music, you can save the country because in Kenya everybody listens to your music.”
Samba took the suggestion to heart and created a lively soukous track that delivers the message to his audiences all over the world, stating: “I was happy to contribute to the country that I love, people that I love. Kenya is my home. I grew up there. I want to advise people to vote in peace. The violence that happened in 2007 must not happen again. I know people will listen and stand together. I’m doing my part and I call on all Kenyans to do their part for the good of the nation–all Kenyans, at home and abroad.” Although composed with Kenya in mind, “Chagua Chagua” has universal implications for all nations facing the challenge of democratic elections.
The unique video clip for “Chagua Chagua” was created by Maddo (Paul Kelemba), the groundbreaking editorial cartoonist for Kenya’s The Standard newspaper. His widely popular comic strip “It’s a Madd Madd World,” which has run weekly for 23 years, comments on political and social life with humorous but informative anecdotes. itsamaddworld.com