The Future of Ugandan Rap is FEMALE


KEKO – Cry for Help

It is difficult to point out female artist in the African Hip Hop industry that are succeeding and staying consistent. However, Keko, a female Ugandan rapper is killing the game. In her song, Cry for Help, she sheds the light on the physical and mental abuse that women in many societies experience. As a woman, I do not necessarily want to hear a male’s perspective on life, hustling and relationships all the time. This is why Keko is important in the African music industry as she sheds a light on some of the struggles that are more relatable to women.

The major themes in this song shed the light on opposition to patriarchy and submissiveness. These are issues that many African women face everyday were they are forced to be dependent on their husband. In this instance, Keko tells the story of a woman fighting for survival in a physically abusive relationship. Keko tells us that, “… she can’t go home, her momma sent her back. Telling her to cater back, not fight back. A man is a man, let him have his way. And in time you will see that it will be okay. She’s trying to sleep but the thoughts won’t leave.” In African societies, women are sent of to their marital homes and are looked down upon if they choose to leave their marriage. This lack of freedom for women is an issue that is prevalent but ignored in Northern and Western African cultures.

Keko is an artist that stands out! And her music certainly speaks for her Although she may appear tomboy-ish, I find it interesting that she embraces her femininity. This video made it apparent that we should see more African women at the top of the industry because the impact will be significant, especially for young girls. We need female artist who can tell the modern African female story via hip-hop, R&B, gospel, rock etc.

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