ISBN 9789966028440
Pages 186
Dimensions 210 x 148 mm
Published 2013
Publisher Twaweza Communications, Kenya
Format Paperback

The Politics of Everyday Life in Gikuyu Popular Music of Kenya 1990-2000

by Maina wa Mutonya

While probing the politics of everyday in Gikuyu popular music, the main thrust of this book is to unpack the representation of daily struggles through music. Depending mainly on the lyrics of the songs, the study also combines both the textual and the contextual analysis of the music. Music here is studied both as a text, and as an aspect of popular culture. The decade 1990-2000 in Kenya provides two contrasting political developments, which directly impacted on the ordinary Kenyan; firstly, the extremes of the country's one-party rule were at the peak until when multi-party democracy was re-introduced. This ushered in a new era, but with antecedents in one-party rule, where service delivery was below par and economic mismanagement, corruption, assassinations and detentions continued unabated. It is in this contrasting environment that popular arts proliferated as a way of countering the repressed freedom of expression. This book, therefore, looks at how the Gikuyu musicians reacted and responded to these social and political realities in their songs. Music is discussed as an essential site for creation, re-creation and negotiation of the various forms of identities.

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About the Author

Maina wa Mutonya

Maina wa Mũtonya, a senior lecturer in Pwani University holds a Ph.D. in African Literature from University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. He writes largely on literature, popular culture and politics in Africa. His latest book, La Política de la Vida Cotidiana en la Música Popular Gĩkũyũ de Kenia (2017) talks about the interaction between culture, politics and popular music in postcolonial Kenya. Mũtonya is currently working on migration in Africa and the Caribbean as well as the Afro-mexican identities and representation of blackness in Mexico.

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