By S N
I have seen my a friend say nasty things about legendary Kikuyu musician Joseph Kamaru and his support for Uhuru Jubilee.
He is wrong on all accounts. Everywhere in the world, musicians and artists have supported political causes.
Leni Riefenstahl was a great film-maker who loved Hitler so much she made two of the greatest propaganda films for Nazi. Her dalliance with Hitler did damage her reputation, but her talent, intelligence and skills remain unmatched.
Franco Luambo Makiadi whose death we will mark this week was a known supporter of Mobutu Sseseko. He had his reasons for that. We still listen to him and we all love the artistry that went to Candidat Mobutu.
In Nigeria, there was a great poet who joined the Biafra war. Christopher Okigbo died like that. Chinua Achebe speaks his mind on Biafra war in last book before he died.
We discussed this at a recent Achebe colloquium at the British Institute in East Africa.
Dr Tom Odhiambo of University of Nairobi, said that artists must never be neutral. And I fully agree.
They need to make there choices and deal with the consequences. The motivations may well be financial, often ignorance and sometimes a purely native attachment to those we share the same blood.
Luo musicians praise Odinga. One who tried to go against the grain, was chased to nearby Tanzania.
Kanye West, one of the most talented rappers and musical arrangers to ever make it out of a woman womb is an open supporter of Donald Trump. It shouldn’t make him less cool because Jay Z and Beyonce support Hillary Clinton.
I hope I am clear. Let’s criticise artists and be very objective. Them being in different camp of opinion in some issues must not reduce them to animals.
Let’s sober up.