Posted in Artist Profiles, Somalia, Student Projects

Be Consciously Aware: K’Naan Educating the World

K’Naan was an artist who was born in Somalia. Some may claim that K’Naan was more than a musician but also a poet. In a newspaper article published by the CBC news in Canada, K’Naan was audition people who were poets and artists between the age of 17 to 25 years old. He was selecting people for his HBO series called The Recruiters in Etobicoke. His audition was to allow Somalian youth reach their dream to be an entertainer. K’Naan fans were inspired by his story because he came from Dixon Road community in Toronto. He never let his life circumstances affect his ability to be successful.

Learn more about K’Naan auditioning people in Canada

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/knaan-auditions-recruiters-1.3372931

Also, K’Naan wrote an article in the New York Times called “A Son Returns to the Agony of Somalia.” He stated, “One has to be careful about stories. Especially true ones.” The statement that K’Naan said was to illustrate if a story was told more than once it lost it meaning and the auditions would no longer be touch by the story. He told his story about his childhood in Somalia. He claimed that it was a peaceful childhood that exposed him to the beauty of poetry. However, his life changed at the age of 12 because violence sweep across his nation. He witnessed three of his childhood friend were murder in cold-blood by a boy around the same age as him. He was one of the few who survived the bloodshedding and escaped with his life on the last commercial flight leaving Somalia before the violent exposed. K’Naan was able to take his life experience and incorporated into his music. His music became a voice for the voiceless for Somalians which created a sensation throughout the Western hemisphere. As his music became more and more famous, the more and more the government exile him and his music for the people in Somalia. K’Naan wanted to see badly his hometown, Mogadishu, which brought to him the devasting way how people there were forced to live. The people in Mogadishu had to live in a place full of hopelessness, death, devastation, fear, and sickness. K’Naan eyes were open because he notices that his present along, to the people living in the forgotten place, brought joy to them.

Read more about K’Naan’s story in Somalia

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/25/opinion/sunday/returning-to-somalia-after-20-years.html?_r=0

K’Naan music reflected his experience in Somalia, and he highlighted the injustice that seems to happen still there. The western media portrayed Somalia as a violence place because the people lived there were Muslim. The negative stereotype America news tell their audience was only a one-sided story that needed to be questioned. K’Naan challenged his listeners by being consciously aware of everything because he wanted them to start to stop being so receptive to the things he or she hear or read in the media. A person who does not think for oneself is more dangerous than those who are selling the common story. Beware of your stereotype and what you read and hear about developing countries.

For more comparison to understand what K’Naan’s article was stating about Somalia being a violent forgotten country, then read these Western world newspaper articles from America about Somalia:

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/somalia/index.html

http://abcnews.go.com/topics/news/somalia.htm

K’Naan’s song “Take A Minute” basically about staying active because they, Africans, overcame hardship. In addition, Africa was and still is a great nation where many great leaders came from, and many are being developed. One may claim that the song was written to empower Africans to unite by riding together and being socially conscious about other people issues in their continent. It was important for K’Naan to illustrate how unity amongst one another would be the best way to fight the oppressors. K’Naan had made many other songs that were similar to his song called “Take A Minute.

Below is a Youtube link to video and K’Naan’s video:

https://youtu.be/APw9ES0JpZo

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