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Editorial

A Jesse Dele Series : Unveiling the Good in the Bad

In life we have both the Good and the Bad. However taking Positives from the Negative goes a long way .

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While in Kisumu Boys High School, I played for the school’s football team until the beginning of Form 3. By played I mean 2 matches, but that still counts! During my time, we chose between Geography and History. Our Geography teacher was a beast. He would whip us scathingly for not knowing the formation of a volcano daily. Everyone feared whenever it was his turn on the timetable. Too strict!

Mode (Teacher) wa Geography made us choose between sports and his subject as he would teach during ‘games time.’ This was to catch those still in sports. I gave up on my talent to chase the grade and although it hurts to this day, I wouldn’t have passed without doing so.

Often rap and hip hop are scrutinized for their negative promotion of senseless and petty violence, philistinism, substance abuse, and misuse of sex just to name a few. However, there are innumerable positives that our favourite artists tell us regardless. Romans 3:10-12 King James Version (KJV) as it is written,’ There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth.’ Why are we quick to judge?

Positive Ego

Churchill Mandela, better known by his stage name Scar Mkadinali from ‘Wakadinali’ had a great point during his interview on Switch TV in May of 2019. He was asked why hip-hop artists have to have an ego. His response was, “If I came here and was an agreeable person you would forget about me and no one would talk about me.”

Screengrab courtesy of Switch TV

This teaches us that confidence is key and knowing one’s worth will save you from disrespect, ‘low ball’ offers, and negative media coverage as this means being real, true to one’s word and having honor and accountability. My take from this is you can’t please everyone. No matter what you do others will envy, point, ridicule, judge and so on. Ambition and persistence while believing in one’s ways and sticking to them is commendable. We learn through Scar’s wise and indirect answers to 2 things. Nothing is ever as it seems as the question of “who do you listen to” by Sami Flinch during the interview tests whether Scar will give anyone any radio time. He doesn’t by saying he only listens to Domani Munga sitting next to him. Second, we can always bend the rules in our favour. Sami sensed tension and decided to de-escalate the pressure by promoting Scar’s #KovuChallenge. At the time his breakout hit ”Kovu” Was the talk of the town. We learn from Sami that sometimes it’s okay to back down.

Bad fun

Any elder you speak to will tell you life is short, and value friendships, little moments such as walking on the beach or laughing with your partner while being responsible and a good person in general. Also, our elders tell us of their fun days as youth. The mischief they got up to. They remind us to not be so serious! Most times I’m on public transportation the music is so deep, so sad. Other times it’s wild or happy. Sometimes introspection is good but in the words of James Edward alias, Babytron, “So many people make music for being sad, my music is meant to have fun.” He is known for his wordplay, unique 80s beat selection, punchlines and sharp lyricism. James has been known for fraud since he was in “grade school.” He raps, “ I been scamming since the iPhone 6” on the song “Area 51” which suggests he started scamming at 14 years of age. He has never caught a case of fraud but was booked for possession of a controlled substance on 8th February of 2023. Otherwise, his squeaky clean police record leaves fans questioning whether he lives his raps but I think he’s all facts.

Babytron -Photo Courtesy

In high school, he has numerous high-end fashion such as Burberry shirts, designer shoes, goyard bags, wads of cash in 100-dollar bills and so on. He was earning a lot more than the average high schooler. He dropped out of college and began seriously rapping and he already had a chain when he was signed. He brags about only ever eating 100$ dollars plus meals, wearing 10,000$ dollar fits, and throwing his air forces on the wire (as seen in hoods to represent a drug sale point) once they get creased and so on. His music is generally meant to brag, have fun and play around with new sounds such as stuttering while rapping which James calls “Stutter Flow.” His creativity, lingo, fashion sense and unique appearance make him stand out. He seems to not care about anything; sometimes we all feel like that and do need to tune out.

Robotic work rate

Kentrell Gaulden, alias Youngboy Never Broke Again released his first mixtape in 2015 after releasing singles on Soundcloud in 2011. Since then, his discography consists of 6 studio albums, 3 compilation albums, 26 mixtapes (including 6 collaborative mixtapes), 3 extended plays, and 102 singles (including 23 as a featured artist). He drops music every other week and puts out more music than anyone you can think of. With more than 30 billion total streams and 109 RIAA-certified releases including 3 platinum or double platinum albums, NBA YoungBoy is one of the most listened-to artists in the world.

Youngboy Never Broke Again(YNBA) -Photo Courtesy

He says his grandfather told him to work hard and save his money, which we can all relate to. He has done this under much pressure. His father got life in prison for a home invasion turned first-degree murder charge while he was 8 years old. He began smoking cigarettes at 11. He has been in juvenile since 10. There are many pictures of him as a youngster with an ankle monitor on house arrest. He only knows the streets gang life and drug deals as is mostly reflected in his music. He was mostly caused by himself through his numerous encounters with the law. He was booked for an attempted murder in 2016 after his cousin was shot down in Baton Rouge. Before this, he was booked for robbery as a 15-year-old. In 2019 he was taken in on simple battery family charges. During 2020 he was taken in for drug and weapons charges as he was shooting a music video for ‘Chopper City’. He is currently on house arrest for both although he beat the drugs and is yet to go to federal court for the weapons. He started a Stop the Violence campaign in 2023 and is trying to clean up his image. Despite all this, he has risen to the top working in the studio every day and his robotic work rate has made him a self-made millionaire.

Conclusion

In essence, the journey through challenges, the positive messages in music, the importance of confidence, the joy of having fun, and the value of a strong work ethic collectively weave a narrative of resilience, optimism, and success emerging from adversity. We can learn different attributes from these 3 artists and how humans are diverse and can thrive in different environments and situations

Jesse Dele

This article is originally written by Jesse Dele

Editorial

When Was The Last Time You Cried?

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In a world where everything is moving so fast, there’s something incredibly liberating about letting ourselves cry. Creating time to take deep breaths and cry. It doesn’t have to be a wail or a scream, just a sigh that lets you breathe. It’s a powerful and natural expression of our emotions that plays a crucial role in our mental and emotional well-being. So, grab a tissue, cosy up, and let’s explore why it’s important to embrace those tears.

Someone said to me; that when you do not cry, other parts of you weep. And I thought about it a lot. When we stifle our tears and suppress our feelings, they don’t simply disappear; instead, they seep into the depths of our being, creating a reservoir of unexpressed pain and sorrow. This silent cry of the soul manifests itself in various ways, often without us even realizing it.

One of the most common consequences of suppressing our emotions is seeking solace in alcohol and drugs. Unable to cope with the weight of our unshed tears, we turn to temporary distractions to numb the pain and dull the ache. What starts as a means of escape can quickly spiral into a cycle of addiction and self-destruction, as we desperately try to silence the silent cries within us. Because why do you have to drink so much?

The refusal to acknowledge and process our emotions can lead to chronic frustration and discontentment. Like a pressure cooker without a release valve, our unexpressed feelings simmer beneath the surface, waiting for an opportunity to erupt. This simmering frustration can manifest as irritability, mood swings, and outbursts of anger, leaving us feeling emotionally drained and disconnected from ourselves and others. You know when someone does something and you get so irrevocably mad you can’t even explain why you got so mad in the first place? Chances are you haven’t cried in a while.

So, why is it important to let those tears flow anyway? Because crying is not a sign of weakness; it’s a courageous act of self-care and self-expression. When we allow ourselves to cry, we create a pathway for healing and transformation, releasing the pent-up emotions that weigh us down and allowing light to enter the darkest corners of our souls.

By embracing vulnerability and embracing our tears and that it is okay that sometimes things are not okay, we open ourselves up to the possibility of true healing and wholeness. Instead of seeing crying as a sign of weakness, we can reframe it as an act of courage and strength, a willingness to confront our deepest fears and vulnerabilities head-on.

In the end, remember this: when you don’t cry, other parts of you will weep. So, let yourself be vulnerable. Allow yourself to feel deeply and express your emotions freely, knowing that in doing so, you are honouring the truth of who you are and paving the way for a life filled with authenticity, connection, and joy. After all, as the poet Rumi once said, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”

Find out what Becca and her friends think on Men Crying, https://youtu.be/bPjAYBCAAnw?si=AnJNh8tb1z2ykonZ

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Editorial

Understanding Sexual Assault: Consent can be revoked AT ANY TIME

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Sexual assault is a topic that often finds itself shrouded in misconceptions and silence. We all know it but never really really talk about it. However, as we observe Sexual Awareness Month this April, understanding sexual assault in its various, sometimes less obvious, forms is important. Through open conversations, we can foster a supportive environment for survivors and promote a culture of consent and respect. This isn’t just a conversation about identifying wrongful acts; it’s about cultivating a deeper comprehension and empathy toward the many facets of sexual violence.

Sexual assault encompasses a range of unwanted sexual behaviors that are imposed on someone without their consent. It does not matter whether it’s your girlfriend or best friend. It’s a broad term that includes but is not limited to rape. Many people are unaware of the various manifestations of sexual assault, which can range from verbal harassment to physical abuse. Let’s explore these forms to better understand and recognize them;

Physical Assault Without Consent

This is what most people traditionally understand under sexual assault. It includes any form of unwanted sexual contact, such as touching, groping, or more severe physical acts. It’s important to recognize that consent is key; any sexual activity without explicit consent is considered assault.

Verbal and Non-Verbal Harassment

Sexual harassment can take many forms, including comments, jokes, gestures, or other actions that create an uncomfortable or hostile environment. It’s often overlooked because it can be subtle or normalized in some settings, but it’s a form of assault that can have profound psychological effects.

Coercion and Manipulation

Coercion into sexual activity by using threats, manipulation, or exploiting someone’s vulnerability is another form of sexual assault. This includes situations where consent is given under pressure or where the individual is not in a position to make an informed decision, such as under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Digital Abuse

With the advent of technology, digital spaces have also become a medium for sexual assault. This can include non-consensual sharing of intimate images, sexual harassment online, or any form of unwanted sexual communication through digital means.

Understanding and recognizing the signs of sexual assault is the first step in prevention and support. It’s essential to listen to and believe survivors, offer them support, and guide them toward professional help if needed. Recognizing the signs also means being aware of the nuances of consent; consent must be enthusiastic, informed, and CAN BE REVOKED at any time.

Supporting Survivors

If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault, it’s important to know that help is available. Support can come from friends, family, or professional organizations dedicated to helping survivors of sexual assault. Seeking professional counseling or legal advice can also be a crucial step in the healing process. Do not just sit by as your friends stay in an abusive relationship, it is your duty as a friend to help them get help.

In creating environments where safety and trust flourish, being a vigilant friend is paramount. It involves fostering spaces where openness and vulnerability are not just welcomed but cherished. As vigilant friends, our role extends beyond casual companionship; it encompasses being a reliable point of contact, a listening ear without judgment, and a guiding light toward resources and support. Encouraging dialogue about personal safety, mental health, and well-being strengthens our bonds and empowers our friends to seek help when needed. It’s about ensuring that your circle knows they are not alone, that there’s strength in seeking support, and that we are here to walk alongside them in their journey towards healing and empowerment.

Creating a Culture of Consent

Promoting a culture of consent and respect is everyone’s responsibility. This involves educating ourselves and others about the importance of consent, respecting people’s boundaries, and speaking out against sexual assault. Workplaces, schools, and communities should implement policies that support survivors and hold perpetrators accountable.

Sexual Awareness Month serves as a critical reminder of the importance of addressing and preventing sexual assault. It’s a time to amplify the voices of survivors, educate the public about consent and respect, and work towards creating safer environments for everyone.

The troubling data that men are a majority of the perpetrators underscores the critical need for men to engage in these conversations actively within their circles, raising awareness and fostering a culture of respect and equality. Men have a pivotal role in challenging and changing the narrative around gender-based violence, by holding each other accountable, educating themselves and their peers on consent and respectful behaviors, and dismantling the societal norms that perpetuate such actions.

In conclusion, by recognizing the varied manifestations of sexual assault, we can better support survivors in its many forms. By recognizing the varied manifestations of sexual assault, we can better support survivors and work towards a world where respect and consent are the foundations of all relationships. Let’s use Sexual Awareness Month as an opportunity to foster open discussions, educate ourselves and others, and commit to creating a safer, more respectful society.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ke.co.gender.komesha&hl=en&gl=US.

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Adulting 101

Adulting Weekend: Sherehe and Rest this Easter.

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Adulting is truly a second job. It’s like every day is another round in the ring with responsibilities, bills, that ever-present need to sustain a hustle to keep everything afloat and school. So, I’m here wondering, is it just me who’s constantly tired lately?

But hey, the “Adulting Weekend” or as the Christians would prefer to call it; Easter, is just around the corner, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. From Good Friday on March 29th, which is a public holiday, Easter Sunday on March 31st, observed as an observance day and Easter Monday on April 1st, also a public holiday. A time traditionally marked by its spiritual significance and the promise of renewal offers a much-needed break from the relentless pace of adult life. A sort of renewal on its own.

And you know how Kenyans do it whether it’s Easter or not, give us a reason to celebrate, and we’ll turn it into a party. But, as we dive into the Easter sherehe, from the get-togethers to the sacred moments, let’s not forget to hit the pause button. It’s important to take a breather and rejuvenate. To unplug from the daily and truly rest. As we gear up for the lively and go-getter April, this Easter break is the perfect time – a chance to relax, refresh and recharge.

Imagine this Easter as your pit stop in the race of adulting. A time to cool down, refill your tank, and get ready to zoom off when April comes.

Take that long nap without feeling guilty, spend quality time with family and friends without peeking at emails, and allow your mind to wander off script every now and then. These small moments of rest are not just acts of self-care; they’re essential for keeping our inner fires burning.

To all of us navigating this crazy dance of adulting while looking forward to the Easter festivities, let’s make a pact to rest and rejuvenate. It’s in these moments of pause that we find the strength to keep pushing forward. Here’s to a chill Easter and a fired-up Aries Season.

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