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Reggae fraternity warns politicians against ‘misusing’ reggae at BBI rallies

The slogan “Nobody Can Stop Reggae” has become synonymous with the Building Bridges Iniative (BBI) rallies led by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Deputy President William Ruto, who by all indications is opposed to the BBI rallies, has on the other hand stated that “Kenya is Christian nation and not reggae nation.”

The rhetoric surrounding reggae at BBI rallies has caught the attention of the Kenya Reggae Fraternity, the body that brings together all practitioners within the reggae industry in Kenya, and they have now condemned it in a strongly-worded statement.

“Having originated within a cultural space that is home to marginalized groups, mainly in urban settlements in Nairobi, and other major towns in Kenya, reggae music has become a voice that qualms issues of injustice, resistance, love, and humanity both sensual and spiritual. As generations have grown into what we now refer to as ‘woke’ people, reggae has grown it’s reach into suburbs and rich gated estates alike due to the messages of positive living that lie within the music,” Kenya Reggae Fraternity said in a statement.

“In the face of lack of adequate employment opportunities, also a failure by the same leadership class, it has also created economic opportunities and transmission for upcoming artists, musicians and other practitioners like DJs, sound systems, MCs, event organisers, merchandise traders, Tv And Radio presenters. These are the dynamics that have allowed the youth of today to forge a culture that is synonymous with our way of life,” the statement went on.

CULTURAL HERITAGE

“It is for these very reasons that the international body, United Nations through UNESCO, recognized Reggae Music as a cultural heritage. Citing the above, the Reggae Fraternity of Kenya takes deep offense with the ongoing rhetoric, referring to Reggae Music as an occult and associating it to criminal activities, therein painting us the Reggae Fraternity of Kenya as hooligans of this Nation,” reads the statement in part,

“This is reckless rhetoric that cannot be allowed to continue in whatever vote-searching quarters or rallies. We will not be silent and have our beloved genre tarnished in the name of political hullabaloo. A ‘shrewd’ politician knows when to back off. We strongly suggest that you read the writing on the wall. Nobody can stop Reggae!  We are Reggae and Reggae is us!” the statement adds.

The Kenya Reggae Fraternity held their elections last year with David Khakasa aka King David being elected as the chair while Muzikal Sheriff, CEO and owner of Rastyle Sound is his vice.