Kenya’s ‘moral police’ should stay away from the music industry

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The freedom to create content is absolute. So too is the freedom to consume content. These are mutually exclusive ideas. Yaani, one can consume all the content they want without ever needing to stop another person from creating or consuming different content.

People with an over exuberant sense of self worth have always described Kenyan content as vulgar, obscene and lacking in morals. The songs were vulgar when they accompanied the struggle for independence. They were obscene when they contained refrains about a Kenya for Kenyans. Kamaru was a musician lacking in morals when he released that song “the spectators ran away with the trophy.” Ochieng Kabaselleh was so immoral he was detained at Nyayo House.

Female musicians appeared on TV (Joy Bringers) in trousers immediately became prostitutes. Japheth Kassanga dared to play Christian Music using a guitar which was the devil’s instrument that caused people to sin. CITAM once cleansed the sanctuary because some christian musicians were performing and their was a smoke machine that caused a Pastor to see demons rising on stage.

It’s not new. Our industry has always been described as one with rebellious evil people with long hair and ungovernable tendencies. People describing us as such have always been fake deep, holier than thou types with violent reactions to the use of logic, data and good sense. They believe what they believe and their beliefs are the best thing to be believed and cannot be questioned.

Still, those of us that have worked in this industry know that success or failure in content production is determined by the market. The people of Kenya. They are individuals of different beliefs and backgrounds that have free will and can make their own decisions on what they want or like. Nobody has their radio station set to a default station or a default song.

There is no standard for music in Kenya. There should not be one. Music is an art form and art is subjective. What you like is what you like. It’s not the standard for things that must be liked. This is what we must teach our children. They are not robots.

Banks in Kenya are going through a myriad issues last 24 months. When do we start the moral investigations at banks?

And finally assuming that (by mistake) you heard a “bad song” from a person with a “bad” stage name, what’s the crisis?

Who can name one person who ever died from a bad song?

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Dan Aceda is a Kenyan singer and songwriter known for his penchant for sweet melody and unique storytelling. He has produced three studio albums and has played at concerts all over the world including the US and Europe, East Africa, Malawi and more. He is the Founder and CEO of The African Bonfire, a multi media production company based in Nairobi Kenya. He is also a current member of the prestigious Global Health Corps Fellowship Class of 2013. As of June 2014 Dan is also a member of the UN Global Accelerator network of entrepreneurs.