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Stop whining and compose better songs, Eric Wainaina tells musicians

Kenyan musician Eric Wainaina has added his voice to the never ending debate on Nigerian music receiving a lot of airplay locally.

The award winning artist penned a long article on Okay Africa urging Kenyan artists to direct their energy towards writing good songs instead of holding street demonstrations to demand for airplay.

In his article titled ‘Does Kenya really have a Naija music problem?’, Wainaina argued that the campaign to stop international music from being aired locally would not solve anything.

“When Kenyan artists march the streets asking for more airplay, what do they really mean? Surely they don’t mean a total ban? Where would we be without Stevie? Michael Jackson? The Beatles? Who wants to live a life without Beyoncé?”


“And would you really like to be in a club that didn’t play Tiwa Savage, Chameleone, Diamond Platnumz? And if we embraced a total ban of art coming from outside Kenya, why stop there? Why not ban everything that wasn’t local? Like technology,” argued Wainaina.

The Nchi ya Kitu Kidogo hitmaker stated that music borrows a lot from other artists, adding that for Kenyan artists to be competitive they need to work harder.

“This misdirected energy is not new. It would be better spent writing songs, though. Songs that come out punching at your heart or your dancing shoes,” he wrote.

Mr Wainaina’s sentiments come days after local artists staged a demonstration within the CBD to demand for airplay by radio and television stations.

Sports, Culture and the Arts Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario recently launched a national music policy that requires all public and private broadcasters to dedicate 60 per cent of their music content to local artistes.