Tujiangalie: A Snapshot Into the Hardships in Kenya

Pop rhumba group Sauti Sol teamed up with rapper Nyashinski to compose a song that takes a deeper look into how politics in the country of Kenya are ruining the prospects of future generations. In the song, “Tujiangalie”, which roughly translates into “let’s examine ourselves” the artist makes several points on the ongoing state of their country. In the lyrics, Sauti Sol first reflect on how the forefathers of Kenya would ask about the country they help liberate from British colonialism. They say Kenya is a disaster. Children are burrying each other and corruption is ravaging the country through politicians. This is especially true in Kenya where politicians regularly steal public funds to live lavish lifestyles while the country is in debt and the people are struggling to make ends meet. The chorus of the song states specifically that the country is worse off today than it was before. Through foreign countries such as China and international financial institutions such as the World Bank, Kenya is falling farther and farther into debt that will more than likely go unpaid and the future generations will have to struggle to pull themselves out of poverty. Another key message in the song is the role of social media in current times. The song claims that Kenyans regularly get on twitter and criticize each other rather than criticize their governments. Although tribalism with the newer generations is starting to release the stronghold on society, voting along tribal lines is still a major issue in Kenya and is most notably the reason for violence during the 2007-2008 post election violence. Nyashinski closes the song out with highlighting how class differences reflect on the people. He notes that even if he may be richer than his neighbor, they are still both in the slums. Kenya is infamous for having the largest slums in Africa. Although Nairobi is a major African hub of commerce and technology, millions of people still live in slum-like conditions that the government barely works to improve. Kenya has many systemic problems that affect the outcomes of elections, who can make a decent living for themselves without obscene hardships and the satisfaction rate of the government by its own people. This song is important in highlighting through music and catchy tunes the horrors people face living in Kenya.

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