THE USE OF SHENG & HIP HOP
I have read several article on use of Sheng in the dailies of late with utter dismay on sheer arogance displayed by those opposed to the language. I agree with most of the issues raised like the language being very different from one hood to another. But insulting it is out of context. I particulary found this quote from one writer very perturbing "Let Sheng be left to matatu touts, drug pushers, hopeless hip-hop musicians and school dropouts."
Creativity makes us (Youth) take existing words and transform them to Sheng to fit and describe our consiouness. Through Sheng we accurately express our thoughts and ideas.The conception that the youth must speak in English or pure Swahili to get anywhere is colonial/political old guard inherent aptitude. Its true Kenyan youths do not read and if we are to adopt a reading culture through Sheng, so be it. Write about Che Guevara to the youth in sheng and there will be more of his T-shirts in the streets. My point is, knowledge gained in whatever language is not inferior. I regulary use sheng and am not a drug pusher, a tout, a school drop out or a hip hop musician and am not lazy (as one writer claimed that the users of the language are lazy).
Hip Hop Musicians are not hopeless otherwise Krs-One and other artists would never have lectured Havard, Oxford or Yale. Tupac music would never be studied in Literature like it is in the States. Hip hop is a culture that is very misunderstood by many. To them hip hop is about guns, naked women/Bitches, clubing, drooping trousers and 50 Cent. Those that have this misconception are victims of media hog wash on Hip Hop. Hip Hop encompass not just rap music, but an entire lifestyle that consistently incorporates diverse elements of ethnicity, technology, art and urban life, a celebration of life and struggle. Lecturing those who are brain washed about this culture is equivalent to catching a leprechaun.