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Article

Omogusii Omokimbizi: A Gusii Popular Artist’s Meditation on the Post-election Violence in Kenya

Published in: Eastern African Literary and Cultural Studies
Volume 6, issue 1, 2020 , pages: 41–57
DOI: 10.1080/23277408.2019.1710341
Author(s): Reuben Kiyondi OndaraLanguages, Linguistics and Literature, Kenya

Abstract

The 2007–2008 post-election violence in Kenya marked a momentous period in the country’s history due to the unprecedented loss of life, displacement, destruction of property, animosity and ethnic strife, courtesy of the disputed presidential elections. The period is chronicled in the minds and works of local artists and historians for posterity and to reflect the country’s identity. A Gusii secular pop artist, Henry Sagero Maiko, and his Bonyakoni Kirwanda Band, recounts the numerous events of this period in their song “Omogusii Omokimbizi”, with shocking revelations of the ghastly deeds and callous experiences undergone by the kinsfolk and citizenry in the given period. These form the focus of this paper, which highlights the popular artist’s reflection on the pre-election, election and post-election period occurrences, the resilience of the Kenyan populace, and the way forward, which depicts the measures to avert a relapse in the future.

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