“Nobody can stop reggae” is a phrase that has become popular in Kenya of late, pitting Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) proponents and opponents.
However, the statement seems to be getting into peoples’ nerves, with a section of politicians saying nobody can stop “reggae”, while others vow to stop it.
The Reggae Fraternity has condemned the politicisation of the reggae music in the country, noting that it has swayed the music genre from its original purpose.
In a statement, the body said that politicisation of the music genre has painted it as a source of violence, despite being a “a voice that qualms issues of injustice, resistance, love and humanity”.
“Having originated within a cultural space that is home to marginalized groups, mainly in urban settlements in Nairobi, and other major towns in Kenya, reggae music became a voice that qualms issues of injustice, resistance, love, humanity both sensual and spiritual. As generations have grown into what we now refer to as ‘woke’ people, Reggae has grown its reach into suburbs and rich gated estates alike due to the messages of positive living, that lie within the music,” read the statement in part.
The Fraternity noted that the music genre, which was recognised by UNESCO as a cultural heritage, has been turned into a tune for political battleground, degrading it.
“We the Reggae Fraternity of Kenya take deep offense with the ongoing rhetoric, referring to reggae music as an occult and associating it to criminal activities, therein painting us the Reggae Fraternity of Kenya as hooligans of this Nation. This is reckless rhetoric that cannot be allowed to continue in whatever vote-searching quarters or rallies. We will not be silent and have our beloved genre tarnished in the name of political hullabaloo,” added the statement.
Recently, Deputy President was on record terming reggae music as a music for bhang smokers and magicians, which seems to have angered the group.
“I want to say for the avoidance of doubt that Kenya is a country of prayer and not reggae, bhang and sorcery. We will stop this reggae,” the DP said during a funds drive for the Anglican Church in Khwisero, Kakamega County.
On the other hand, ODM leader Raila Odinga has been using the phrase ‘nobody can stop reggae’ to promote the BBI agenda, which has not augured well with DP Ruto and his allies.
“A ‘shrewd’ politician knows when to back off. We Strongly suggest that you read the writing on the wall. “Nobody can stop Reggae ” We are Reggae and Reggae is us,” noted the group in their statement.
“Nobody can stop reggae” is a phrase first used by South African reggae musician Lucky Dube in his hit song Nobody can stop Reggae.