Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

“The Mzungus” rock Shimoni.

“The Mzungus” were given short notice to perform due to the ongoing rain. Therefore, at 1500 hours they stepped out into Shimoni dressed for business. Due to the eager crowd we had to hide for a moment outside of Shimoni Primary School while the Band Manager, Madam Rachel, went in to check out the site.

--The Mzungus rap for Shimoni Primary School--
Then it was time and “The Mzungus” marched into Standard 8 (accompanied by a few hangers on in the window). Then it started, “Walkin’ down the High Street...” echoed around the school. The song was called “Livin’ in Shimoni,” and our plan was to introduce the class to worldwide Hip Hop and in particular Kenyan Hip Hop.
“The Mzungu’s” song was not as well received as we initially imagined but after some prompted by the Band Manager, the students relaxed and started to enjoy themselves.
We then asked a couple of boys to come up and perform a song of their choice. They definitely outshone “The Mzungu’s” and the special “head grab” dance move certainly stood out.
After their song and a brief history of hip hop, the class was then asked to invent their own Hip Hop names. First of all “The Mzungu’s” introduced themselves; there was Samye West, Lil Si on the drums, G-Pack and Plan F. Among standard 8, there was the Tinchy Squad, Lady N and DJ Ditto. They all introduced themselves with confidence and the audience (both inside and outside the classroom) responded well.
--Teaching the lyrics of 'Livin' in Shimoni'--
Then it was crunch time. We tried to teach then “Livin’ in Shimoni.” They loved the repetition of the refrain, “Mzungu’s, Mzungu’s, Mzungu’s // Mzungu’s, Mzungu’s, Mzungu’s.” Apart from the timing the class coped really well with the new song. The Tinchy Squad in particular were very vocal. Then it was performance time.

The singers, accompanied but the over enthusiastic drummers in the corner produced a display worthy of several grammy awards.
--Enthusiastic drummers get involved--

To round up the lesson the two boys from the beginning sang another Swahili song. Obviously we didn’t understand the content of the song very well but we are sure they slipped in a few cheeky words, to the delight of the crowd may I add. As a last ditch attempt to prove his “gangsterness” to the class Samye West attempted a “Gangster roly poly.” This was met with laughter from the crowd and in retaliation the singer produced a casual backflip.

“The Mzungu’s” were pretty impressed and are already in talks with their Manager about what to pull out of the bag in next weeks class.