Times Changed or We Outgrew Them?

Legendary Zilizopendwa music artist Gabriel Omollo. Photo Courtesy of Samrack.

We lost the son of Nyandusi a while ago. The old man had bowed his last after a life lived. Whether it was a richly lived life, that I leave to God to judge because a rich life is not measured in terms of what one owns unless it is a human standard that is used.

One thing seemed constant as his children and those who knew him intimately stood to give their last respects. It was the love of country music. It seems he must have had a very unique taste of music unmatched in today’s world if I can say it lightly.

I am tempted to say so since I have noticed the metamorphosis in the music industry over time now. In fact, when I choose to listen to some type of music, some younger men and women look at me wondering which planet I fell from.

I am reminded a day I took an evening walk in the streets of Narok last year with a dear friend of fine. And then we came across a couple of young men within the town. In fact, most of them were secondary school kids and upper-class primary school students. They were enjoying listening to some music.

It happens that it was on a Sunday and so being a weekend, schools sounded foreign to these kids. They wandered aimlessly listening to the latest genre of music I couldn’t fathom. Vulgar and dirty language in the songs made the genre sound so foreign to me.

Gengetone as it is called is a mixed kind of rap and hip pop localized with the latest vocabulary in sheng’ to make up music. In those songs are vixens, a profession high on demand at the moment, who can go to any length to dance as far as naked in front of cameras.

If I can digress a little bit, I remember meeting a friend of mine sometime last year in town. In catching up, I decided to play some Ken Rodges along. It seems I must had touched his nerves because he too is a lover of country music as I am.

Take note though that this day the excitement was not about the music. It was to do with what his daughter had told him earlier that day that she wanted to be when she grew up.  Your guess is a good as mine. Not teacher, lawyer or even chauffer but a vixen and a unique one so to say.

And then here was CBC (Competence Based Curriculum) that had knocked on our doors. It is a curriculum that intends to develop our children along their lines of strengths and passion. So probably she will end up being a vixen. But the kind of vixen she wanted to be was the issue.

She wanted to be the one who shakes while bending in front of male artists. And she went ahead to illustrate. And remember this was a young kid I guess about 4 years. Well, I couldn’t blame her. I blame the kind of content she had been, and probably is consuming maybe and the times in which she is growing up.

It thus baffles some people that Mzee Nyachae would have country music as his favorite. If you play some Franco today then you must have outlived your age or so these youngsters think. To them, modern bongo and modern day gengetone is the thing. Everything else is boring.

So, is it us who have outgrown our times or we have failed to adapt? I am often caught up in between castigating the former and condemning the later. Just as the use of time is the main basis, I also use the aspect of history in defense. Then I take it a notch higher and introduce the moral standard.

For those of us who grew up a couple of decades ago, you can remember what music was like in the 90’s. One song that got ingrained in our minds was the sasa ni lunch time hit by Gabriel Omollo. It did soothe our souls as we drowned fresh foods down our throats about 1 p.m. everyday.

In those days, Mziki wa Adhuhuri was a thing like no other. It was something else. Listening to Shida by Mbaraka Mwinshehe when things were though, you simply got consoled that you are never alone. He reminded you that problems were there even when it was your wedding day.

That was the general music of the day. Come to love and you found country music right there. You can imagine dedicating you girlfriend an item by Ken Rodgers titled ‘The Vows go Unbroken.’ She listened and felt high on the skies.

The same hasn’t changed whether you are listening to the coward of the county today or back in the day and neither will it changed in the future. Sometimes as a man, you have to fight for your love. Just as the words, the videos too were simple and morally acceptable.

Come to today and you will de dedicated a song which you will listen and simply not grasp the meaning of any word because the language used is so foreign. Then you will look at the video and wonder if it was supposed to uplift your soul and heart to whatever it is or rather leave wondering why the hell you should sit there the whole time watching some young women dance naked in front of you.

 I am finding it hard to adapt to these genres. It could be that I was born some long time back and that times have changed but I chose to live my times back then. I will rather enjoy some Sina Makosa by Les Wa Nyika than Nikikupea Utawezana as I gulp my warm uji in the evenings while reflecting on life itself.

If not, I will switch to Amanda by Don Williams or some Ken Rodgers or even Dolly Patton as I wait for the evening to come so that I can plunge myself to slumber land as I wait to take on the next day as it comes along while sailing in the lyrics of Shida and other equivalent songs.

We chose what we listen to. I chose to keep in the cool of the days gone and the cools of today. No offense. No hard feelings as well. It always comes back to our choices.



Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege

Geoffrey Ndege is the Editor and topical contributor for the Daily Focus. He writes in the areas of Science, Politics, Policy, Technology, Current Affairs, Opinion, Agriculture, Energy, Education, Entrepreneurship, Governance, International Emerging Issues, Society, and culture. For featuring, promotions or support write to us at dailyfocus9@gmail.com
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