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The Hiphop Parliament

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By Daniel Howden in Nairobi

In 2007 after Kenyans  voted.   Disputed results led to conflict and violence that culminated to 1000 deaths and 300,000 internally displaced persons. Most Kenyans in fear sat in their houses and watching the on goings unravel in different TV channels .

International Media didn’t expect any unusual occurence in Keny’as election of 2007.  Into the second day after the results were announced they streamed in numbers to cover the happenings  from various angles.

All the media houses had the same thing to report; Ethnicity, chaos, violence, murder, genocide etc putting a whole nation into the unforgiving cusp of fear.

Then an editor at  Ghetto Radio,  Muki Garang  in consultation with his  principals in Amsterdam.  Made a decision  to approach the whole issue with a totally different approach.

In comes the Hiphop Parliament,  Muki  explains how the concept was birthed  and how Ghetto Radio 89.5fm’s  enduring support saw the vision turn into a reality.   ” I called Hiphop artists from different constituencies of Nairobi, i informed them on the need to represent their constituents through the message in their raps.”   Muki says  ” I told the MCs that  kenyans are seeking for a solution to attain and maintain peace hence their comments on the violece would be required .”

Maarten Brouwer together with Rudy Van Djycke of the United Nations and Sarakasi Trust, were able to facilitate a number of Hiphop Parliament sessions and most importantly organized the venue at UN Conference. It is here where Muki guided the parliamentarians in drafting the ‘Hiphop Parliament declaration.’

The Hiphop parliament declaration did not reach Kofi Annan in good time. So if you happen to know how we can reach Kofi Annan kindly assist us . For we  represent the Hiphop Community in Africa.  We also  need to share with our fellow Africans brothers and sister on how what we can particiapate in making our continent a better place to live.

Below is the Hiphop Parliament Declaration of peace. Written by Muki Garang and approved by The Hiphop Parliament in Kenya.

Declaration on the position of the youth during the post-election violence in Kenya

  • We, the Hip Hop Parliament, believe that through our talent as Artists, and using the mic as our main tool,  we shall disseminate a positive message to our country in our efforts to participate in resolving our issues.  Together, we stand united.
  • We, the Hip Hop Parliament, are advocates for gender equality.  Therefore, our female poets and MCs from different constituencies of Nairobi will be an integral part of the cause.
  • We, the Hip Hop Parliament, shun all manner of violence towards any human being, and are keen to practice and preach the respect for human life.
  • We, the Hip Hop Parliament, will support and engage in various activities in our beloved country, in each and every ‘hood, to promote reconciliation between our communities on the basis of hip hop culture.  As hip hop is an umbrella for different sub-cultures, so shall the Hip Hop Parliament act as an umbrella under which artists from different tribes cooperate for this common movement.
  • We, the Hip Hop Parliament, condemn the wanton destruction of property in an economy and society for which we have struggled and shed blood.
  • We, the Hip Hop Parliament MPs/MCs, will use our dope MCing skills to influence our peers in order to reduce the negative effects of tribalism by highlighting and appreciating the positive effects in our communities. To this end, our slogan for the campaign will be “Ukabila ni taifa killer”.
  • We, the Hip Hop Parliament, are a reflection of our society, in Swahili, “kama wasanii sisi ni kioo cha jamii”. We shall therefore observe the rule of law in pursuing our cause, and by so doing keeping it real to the core.
  • The Hip Hop Parliament is comprised of MCs/MPs from different ethnic groups,  backgrounds and tribes, with different languages.  But language is just a means of communication, and we do not accept its use as a source of discrimination.  Thus, we, the Hip Hop Parliament, discourage tribalism and encourage the common use of SHENG as the official fourth language in Kenya.  The Hip Hop Parliament appreciates and represents the richness of diversity in Kenya.
  • We, the Hip Hop Parliament, acknowledge our strength and unity in one culture, HIP HOP, with all its elements of expression. We encourage the youth and society at large to join in our cause. The Hip Hop Parliament is willing to partner with organizations interested in achieving the same goals we so desire for the betterment of all Kenyans lives.
  • We, the Hip Hop Parliament, believe that our movement is capable of being recognized as the one-stop shop for information regarding youth on the streets. This will be our driving force in encouraging our constituents, who mainly are the youth, to embrace various means of earning a livelihood by engaging in economic activities within their capacity. In this regard, we extend a hand to the government of Kenya, and ask that it assist us by accommodating our program within its administrative structure. With the support of an economically empowered youth, the creation of movements and lobby groups advocating for peace, justice, reconciliation, our aims will be achieved and all shall benefit.

The Hip Hop Parliament is a collective conscious movement that has no boundaries and is open to participants from all over the world.  We can only be cool if there is peace in our country; hence justice and reconciliation are the underlying factors on which our leaders should base their leadership in order to achieve a peace that lasts in our country.

Good leaders are required to provide high security for the state and person, a functioning rule of law, a stable arena for economic development, education and affordable housing, and most importantly a well-developed health system available to all citizens, regardless of economic circumstance.

The Hip Hop Parliament’s Speaker:                            Louis Aoko, aka Muki Garang
The Ghetto Radio Women’s issues head reporter:       Angel Wainaina, aka Angel
The Hip Hop Parliament’s Global facilitator:                Maarten Brouwer

We are more than thankful to the entire Hip Hop Parliament MCs/MPs from the different constituencies in Nairobi.

The “Declaration” meeting was facilitated by Ghetto Radio’s Maarten Brouwer, with much needed and appreciated support from the Sarakasi Trust.

In addition, we acknowledge the exemplary show of solidarity from:  Carolina For Kibera (C.F.K.), Binti Pamoja – Kibera, and the School without Borders , Canada (S

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About maishayetu

Maisha Yetu is a Cultural Organization that was registered in 2006 with the aim of using its objectives in a creative fashion to involve Kenya’s youth in participation towards National development.

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