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Are you the kind of music you listen to?

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By LILYS NJERU
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In a world where people are judged by how they look and what they associate themselves with, lovers of specific music genres are often subjected to stereotypes that are a far cry from the person they really are.
In June last year, a Catholic priest in Migori County was given a one-year suspension for rapping during his preaching. Obviously, music with any secular influence, even if it has a positive message, has no place in this church.
This stereotyping starts in childhood, where some parents control the kind of music their children listen to, in the process passing down the myths that surround the various categories of music.
In this age when music has become more enshrined in our society, and with it the rise of role models and personalities that young people look up to, does what and who you listen to determine your character?

Joshua Mutinda at Nation Centre, Nairobi, on January 29, 2019. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO

Joshua Mutinda at Nation Centre, Nairobi, on January 29, 2019. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO

My taste in music is evolving. While in primary school, I was a huge fan of local music, which changed to RnB, Pop and Jamaican riddims when I joined high school. Then, there was a huge sense of pride when you’d tell your friends what riddim had been dropped and the songs that came with it.

Presently, I love house and trance music, sub genres of electronic music. It has been so for the past five years. In my playlist, you’ll come across artistes and producers that are rarely or never played in our airwaves. Looking back, my experience at university had an impact on the kind of music that appealed to me. It was about when the Swedish House Mafia had released a major global hit, “Don’t you worry child”, that had thousands singing along.
I liked the sound of it, and from then on, listened to more of the same genre. I got hooked to the sounds and discovered several DJs and producers along the way. At some point, I would use various software such as Virtual DJ and Traktor to create amateurish mixes of all the songs I had to listen to in the matatu and also share with friends.
I’d be having a conversation with someone and when I mentioned that I was a fan of house or trance music, the person would appear impressed by my foreign taste in music and assume that I came from wealthy home, and that I knew how to party.

The reality though, was that on many occasions when a foreign DJ came to town, I couldn’t afford the ticket, but even when I could, I still could not bring myself to attend because I felt that it wasn’t my scene and that I wouldn’t relate with the crowd either. It was alienating on both ends.
With all the experiences and the evolution I have gone through, I can confidently say that music is just as is, and anybody who chooses to embrace values being portrayed in the words or culture associated with a given genre makes an independent moral decision, not a musical one. There are many people who listen to jams that glorify the gangster life, but are not criminals, as well as many who are lovers of soft music, but are very rough guys. Before judging anyone by the music they listen to, take time to understand why they do it, and who they really are at the core.

Elsa Osano at Nation Centre, Nairobi, on January 27, 2019. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO.

Elsa Osano at Nation Centre, Nairobi, on January 27, 2019. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO.

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Communications Intern
As a born–again Christian who serves in the childrens’ department at my church and who attends Bible study regularly, there are those who wonder why I listen to secular music. Mostly, it’s those who serve in church that mostly get concerned when they hear me sing along to a secular song or talk about a particular secular artist.
I have a liking for Afro beat, a combination of elements of West African musical styles and Rhythm and Blues. According to some church ministers, Christians are only supposed to listen to gospel music, any other type of music might corrupt good morals.
Once, I was forced to delete all the secular songs in my phone because I was told that the songs did not glorify God, which is our sole mandate.
I believe that there is an emotional, not spiritual, connection when it comes to music. People relate to music in different ways, religion notwithstanding. One moment, I might relate to a secular song be-cause it reminds me of someone and sing to a gospel song the other moment because it makes me feel happy.
For instance, if I am bored or doing house chores, I will listen to Afrobeat. When I feel down, R&B songs uplift my spirits. However, before and after I pray, or whenever I need to get into praying mood, I listen to gospel songs.
I have been told that any music that is not gospel will make me regress, but from experience, the diversity of the music I listen to doesn’t in any way affect my faith or my relationship with God. If a song makes sense to me, then I will listen to it. When it comes to music, there’s no borderline for me be-tween the artists and their songs. If I don’t like a particular artist due to their character, I won’t listen to them. Presently, my favourite artistes are American artists, Beyonce and Ariana Grande. I believe that my upbringing has everything to do with the fact that I don’t limit myself to a particular genre of music, my parents allowed my siblings and I to listen to whatever music that appealed to us.

Dennis Mwangi, a student at Technical University of Mombasa. PHOTO | COURTESY

Dennis Mwangi, a student at Technical University of Mombasa. PHOTO | COURTESY

Student &Freelance Writer

Growing up, I did not identify with any genre of music, and would listen to any songs played on the radio. Music was just one of the many ways to relax during my downtime.
After completing secondary school in 2012, I got attracted to reggae music, mainly because it was my friends’ favourite genre and I wanted to fit in. With time however, I developed an intimate interest for the music and I started resonating with the messages in the songs besides enjoying the beats and rhythm. I am a loyal reggae listener today. Many misconceptions exist around this particular genre of music. I believed it was associated with drug abuse and that loyal fans subscribes to a particular dress code. Back then, people with dreadlocks were presumed to be reggae fans. I don’t own any clothes that pay homage to the reggae culture though, and have never had dreadlocks. I identify with the music, not the artistes or the perceived culture. Also, I have never attended a reggae event although I consider myself a fan.
To some of my relatives, my choice of music comes as a surprise and arouses questions about my character, largely because of the stereotypical beliefs that are associated with this category of music. I have found that most reggae songs have strong messages embedded with values of peace, love and respect, and I draw a lot of inspiration from them.
My view is that music is a personal journey, and no one should be judged by what they listen to as long as the music doesn’t promote vices such as crime.

Adrian Adagi at Nation Centre, Nairobi, on January 27, 2019. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO.

Adrian Adagi at Nation Centre, Nairobi, on January 27, 2019. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO.

When I tell people that I don’t listen to mainstream music or that I have a huge disconnect with local artistes, I am met with looks of disbelief and many want to know why.
My taste in music is different. I find no appeal in most local music since I find it predictable. I listen electronic music instead, the kind of songs one can’t dance to.
I grew up listening to the various music genres but settled on this type in 2015. One day, while surfing the internet, I chanced upon a song by Martin Garrix, a Dutch DJ and record producer and got sold out. Through his music, I discovered other artistes and updated my playlist, some of whom have few views and are unknown.
However, for some reason, my mother found the music strange, and attributed the sounds and instrumentation to theistic Satanism, an umbrella term for devil worshippers. While most associate the music with clubbing and drug abuse, I am not into either.

Before I shaved off my hair, I wore an afro, and many would ask me about Hip Hop, a genre I know little about. Various misbeliefs regarding the different genres music aside, I think that the choice of one’s music can say a lot about their personalities. I like to ask new friends what they listen to because it gives me a sneak preview into their social life.



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General

Sordid tale of the bank ‘that would bribe God’

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Bank of Credit and Commerce International. August 1991. [File, Standard]

“This bank would bribe God.” These words of a former employee of the disgraced Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) sum up one of the most rotten global financial institutions.
BCCI pitched itself as a top bank for the Third World, but its spectacular collapse would reveal a web of transnational corruption and a playground for dictators, drug lords and terrorists.
It was one of the largest banks cutting across 69 countries and its aftermath would cause despair to innocent depositors, including Kenyans.
BCCI, which had $20 billion (Sh2.1 trillion in today’s exchange rate) assets globally, was revealed to have lost more than its entire capital.
The bank was founded in 1972 by the crafty Pakistani banker Agha Hasan Abedi.
He was loved in his homeland for his charitable acts but would go on to break every rule known to God and man.
In 1991, the Bank of England (BoE) froze its assets, citing large-scale fraud running for several years. This would see the bank cease operations in multiple countries. The Luxembourg-based BCCI was 77 per cent owned by the Gulf Emirate of Abu Dhabi.  
BoE investigations had unearthed laundering of drugs money, terrorism financing and the bank boasted of having high-profile customers such as Panama’s former strongman Manual Noriega as customers.
The Standard, quoting “highly placed” sources reported that Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Zayed Sultan would act as guarantor to protect the savings of Kenyan depositors.
The bank had five branches countrywide and panic had gripped depositors on the state of their money.
Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) would then move to appoint a manager to oversee the operations of the BCCI operations in Kenya.
It sent statements assuring depositors that their money was safe.
The Standard reported that the Sheikh would be approaching the Kenyan and other regional subsidiaries of the bank to urge them to maintain operations and assure them of his personal support.
It was said that contact between CBK and Abu Dhabi was “likely.”
This came as the British Ambassador to the UAE Graham Burton implored the gulf state to help compensate Britons, and the Indian government also took similar steps.
The collapse of BCCI was, however, not expect to badly hit the Kenyan banking system. This was during the sleazy 1990s when Kenya’s banking system was badly tested. It was the era of high graft and “political banks,” where the institutions fraudulently lent to firms belonging or connected to politicians, who were sometimes also shareholders.
And even though the impact was expected to be minimal, it was projected that a significant number of depositors would transfer funds from Asian and Arab banks to other local institutions.
“Confidence in Arab banking has taken a serious knock,” the “highly placed” source told The Standard.
BCCI didn’t go down without a fight. It accused the British government of a conspiracy to bring down the Pakistani-run bank.  The Sheikh was said to be furious and would later engage in a protracted legal battle with the British.
“It looks to us like a Western plot to eliminate a successful Muslim-run Third World Bank. We know that it often acted unethically. But that is no excuse for putting it out of business, especially as the Sultan of Abu Dhabi had agreed to a restructuring plan,” said a spokesperson for British Asians.
A CBK statement signed by then-Deputy Governor Wanjohi Murithi said it was keenly monitoring affairs of the mother bank and would go to lengths to protect Kenyan depositors.
“In this respect, the CBK has sought and obtained the assurance of the branch’s management that the interests of depositors are not put at risk by the difficulties facing the parent company and that the bank will meet any withdrawal instructions by depositors in the normal course of business,” said Mr Murithi.
CBK added that it had maintained surveillance of the local branch and was satisfied with its solvency and liquidity.
This was meant to stop Kenyans from making panic withdrawals.
For instance, armed policemen would be deployed at the bank’s Nairobi branch on Koinange Street after the bank had announced it would shut its Kenyan operations.
In Britain, thousands of businesses owned by British Asians were on the verge of financial ruin following the closure of BCCI.
Their firms held almost half of the 120,000 bank accounts registered with BCCI in Britain. 
The African Development Bank was also not spared from this mess, with the bulk of its funds deposited and BCCI and stood to lose every coin.
Criminal culture
In Britain, local authorities from Scotland to the Channel Islands are said to have lost over £100 million (Sh15.2 billion in today’s exchange rate).
The biggest puzzle remained how BCCI was allowed by BoE and other monetary regulation authorities globally to reach such levels of fraudulence.
This was despite the bank being under tight watch owing to the conviction of some of its executives on narcotics laundering charges in the US.
Coast politician, the late Shariff Nassir, would claim that five primary schools in Mombasa lost nearly Sh1 million and appealed to then Education Minister George Saitoti to help recover the savings. Then BoE Governor Robin Leigh-Pemberton condemned it as so deeply immersed in fraud that rescue or recovery – at least in Britain – was out of the question.
“The culture of the bank is criminal,” he said. The bank was revealed to have targeted the Third World and had created several “institutional devices” to promote its operations in developing countries.
These included the Third World Foundation for Social and Economic Studies, a British-registered charity.
“It allowed it to cultivate high-level contacts among international statesmen,” reported The Observer, a British newspaper.
BCCI also arranged an annual Third World lecture and a Third World prize endowment fund of about $10 million (Sh1 billion in today’s exchange rate).
Winners of the annual prize had included Nelson Mandela (1985), sir Bob Geldof (1986) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1989).
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Monitor water pumps remotely via your phone

Tracking and monitoring motor vehicles is not new to Kenyans. Competition to install affordable tracking devices is fierce but essential for fleet managers who receive reports online and track vehicles from the comfort of their desk.

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Agricultural Development Corporation Chief Accountant Gerald Karuga on the Spot Over Fraud –

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Gerald Karuga, the acting chief accountant at the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC), is on the spot over fraud in land dealings.

ADC was established in 1965 through an Act of Parliament Cap 346 to facilitate the land transfer programme from European settlers to locals after Kenya gained independence.

Karuga is under fire for allegedly aiding a former powerful permanent secretary in the KANU era Benjamin Kipkulei to deprive ADC beneficiaries of their land in Naivasha.

Kahawa Tungu understands that the aggrieved parties continue to protest the injustice and are now asking the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to probe Karuga.

A source who spoke to Weekly Citizen publication revealed that Managing Director Mohammed Dulle is also involved in the mess at ADC.

Read: Ministry of Agriculture Apologizes After Sending Out Tweets Portraying the President in bad light

Dulle is accused of sidelining a section of staffers in the parastatal.

The sources at ADC intimated that Karuga has been placed strategically at ADC to safeguard interests of many people who acquired the corporations’ land as “donations” from former President Daniel Arap Moi.

Despite working at ADC for many years Karuga has never been transferred, a trend that has raised eyebrows.

“Karuga has worked here for more than 30 years and unlike other senior officers in other parastatals who are transferred after promotion or moved to different ministries, for him, he has stuck here for all these years and we highly suspect that he is aiding people who were dished out with big chunks of land belonging to the corporation in different parts of the country,” said the source.

In the case of Karuga safeguarding Kipkulei’s interests, workers at the parastatals and the victims who claim to have lost their land in Naivasha revealed that during the Moi regime some senior officials used dubious means to register people as beneficiaries of land without their knowledge and later on colluded with rogue land officials at the Ministry of Lands to acquire title deeds in their names instead of those of the benefactors.

Read Also: Galana Kulalu Irrigation Scheme To Undergo Viability Test Before Being Privatised

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“We have information that Karuga has benefitted much from Kipkulei through helping him and this can be proved by the fact that since the matter of the Naivasha land began, he has been seen changing and buying high-end vehicles that many people of his rank in government can’t afford to buy or maintain,” the source added.

“He is even building a big apartment for rent in Ruiru town.”

The wealthy officer is valued at over Sh1.5 billion in prime properties and real estate.

Last month, more than 100 squatters caused scenes in Naivasha after raiding a private firm owned by Kipkulei.

The squatters, who claimed to have lived on the land for more than 40 years, were protesting take over of the land by a private developer who had allegedly bought the land from the former PS.

They pulled down a three-kilometre fence that the private developed had erected.

The squatters claimed that the former PS had not informed them that he had sold the land and that the developer was spraying harmful chemicals on the grass affecting their livestock and homes built on a section of the land.

Read Also: DP Ruto Wants NCPB And Other Agricultural Bodies Merged For Efficiency

Naivasha Deputy County Commissioner Kisilu Mutua later issued a statement warning the squatters against encroaching on Kipkuleir’s land.

“They are illegally invading private land. We shall not allow the rule of the jungle to take root,” warned Mutua.

Meanwhile, a parliamentary committee recently demanded to know identities of 10 faceless people who grabbed 30,350 acres of land belonging to the parastatal, exposing the rot at the corporation.

ADC Chairman Nick Salat, who doubles up as the KANU party Secretary-General, denied knowledge of the individuals and has asked DCI to probe the matter.

Email your news TIPS to [email protected] or WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram through www.t.me/kahawatungu

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William Ruto eyes Raila Odinga Nyanza backyard

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Deputy President William Ruto will next month take his ‘hustler nation’ campaigns to his main rival, ODM leader Raila Odinga’s Nyanza backyard, in an escalation of the 2022 General Election competition.

Acrimonious fall-out

Development agenda

Won’t bear fruit

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