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Kenyan Artists Silence On Ruto’s Finance Bill Is A Betrayal of Fans’ Trust

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Kenya’s leading artists’ silence on the Finance Bill 2024/25 neglects the country’s economic justice struggle, leaving fans feeling betrayed.

These influencers must recognize their societal roles and speak up to support fairness and equity in Kenya.

This article delves into the responsibilities of influential figures in advocating for justice and good governance.

Kenyan Artists

How Kenyan Artists Are Betraying Fans’ Trust

As Kenya grapples with the fallout from President William Ruto’s contentious Finance Bill for 2024/25, a deafening silence echoes from the nation’s most influential artists.

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Despite widespread public outcry and protests against the punitive measures, prominent figures in the Kenyan music scene, including Sauti Sol, Khaligraph Jones, Nyashinski, Octopizzo, Bahati, and Nameless, remain conspicuously mute.

This silence starkly contrasts the activism of earlier generations, leaving many fans feeling abandoned and betrayed.

The Finance Bill 2024/25: A Burden on Ordinary Kenyans

President Ruto’s Finance Bill introduces a series of measures that many Kenyans find draconian. Increased taxes on essential goods and services threaten to exacerbate the already high cost of living.

For a country where a significant portion of the population struggles to make ends meet, the bill feels like a heavy-handed move that targets the most vulnerable.

The public’s reaction has been swift and vocal, with protests erupting across the nation.

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The Power of Music and Its Historical Role in Activism

Historically, music has been a potent tool for social change in Kenya. Artists have often been at the forefront of political and social movements, using their platforms to amplify the voices of the marginalized.

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Juliani’s iconic song “Utawala” serves as a timeless anthem of resistance against oppressive governance.

Its relevance today is a poignant reminder of the power that musicians wield in shaping public discourse and inspiring action.

The Deafening Silence of Today’s Icons

In stark contrast to the legacy of artists like Juliani, today’s big names in Kenyan music have chosen to remain silent.

Sauti Sol, with their massive following and international acclaim, could use their platform to draw attention to the plight of their fans.

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Khaligraph Jones, known for his hard-hitting lyrics and social commentary, is strangely absent from the conversation.

Nyashinski, Octopizzo, Bahati, and Nameless, all influential figures with the power to galvanize public opinion, have also refrained from addressing the issue.

How Kenyan Artists

[Image: Victor Matara]

The Impact of Kenyan Artists Silence on Fans

This silence is not just a missed opportunity for advocacy; it is a profound betrayal of trust. Fans look up to these artists not just for entertainment but also for leadership and guidance.

By choosing to remain silent, these artists are turning their backs on the very people who have supported them through their careers.

In a time of crisis, their fans feel abandoned by those they once considered their voices.

The Rise of Gen Z Activism and the Resonance of ‘Utawala’

In the face of this silence, it is the younger generation, particularly Gen Z, that has picked up the mantle of protest.

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Energized and inspired, they have taken to the streets, with Juliani’s “Utawala” as their rallying cry.

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This classic anthem resonates deeply with their demands for justice and equity, highlighting the stark contrast between the active engagement of the past and the passivity of the present.

Why the Silence?

The reasons behind this silence are complex. Some speculate that financial interests and fear of political repercussions play a role.

The music industry is heavily intertwined with corporate sponsorships and government endorsements, making outspoken criticism potentially costly.

Others suggest that a disconnect between the artists and the everyday struggles of their fans might be to blame.

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The Call to Action

Kenyan artists need to remember the transformative power of their voices. Silence in the face of injustice is complicity.

By speaking out, they can influence public opinion, inspire action, and hold those in power accountable.

It is not enough to enjoy the privileges that come with fame; with great influence comes great responsibility.

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