Africa mixtape: Kenya’s socially conscious rap

Africa Mixtape: Kenya’s Socially Conscious Rap

The Africa Mixtape is an ongoing collection of songs handpicked by SIT Study Abroad students, alumni, faculty, and staff. Today’s post is by Becca Wolinsky, an alumna of SIT Study Abroad Kenya. Currently, Becca is working at UP Education Network in Boston, MA, helping teachers get certified. She is an aspiring physician, and in August she will begin a pre-med postbac program at Bryn Mawr College.

In the spring of 2013, I studied abroad in Nairobi, Kenya, with SIT.  The four months I spent there were the happiest months I’ve ever had. While in Nairobi, I had the privilege of being placed in a host family with Otto Stefan, aka Ottomatic, a rap artist in Nairobi. Ottomatic writes socially conscious rap in Swahili, English, and Sheng (a mixture of Swahili, English, and words from other languages). He is very passionate about social justice and inequality in Kenya.

Below are a few of Ottomatic’s videos. The first, called “Mr. President,” is about the president working on issues of poverty in Kenya. The second is called “Beat Goes On.”

While I studied abroad in Kenya, I had the opportunity to record two songs with Otto, “What Iz Going On” and “Never Give Up.” Listen below.

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