It is said that the tongue is small but it has the power to bring down kingdoms. In the internet age, the capacity for words to ruin lives has gained even more power. Word travels 100 times faster now as people continue to consume content. As a consequence of that we now see people’s reputations going in flames in a very short time.
For those who may not know, it has taken more than 20 years for the Kenyan rock scene to be where it is today. It has taken blood, sweat and a lot of tears.
For a lot of us the rock scene is supposed to be a safe place where we come to have fun, release stress and support our community. Its very hard to find the kind of camaraderie and joy that comes from attending shows. We take pride in respecting and protecting each other.
That is why it came as a great shocked when a member of this scene went on YouTube to air people’s dirty laundry in public. I was very embarrassed by the manner in which certain people especially ladies were described in that video without giving them an opportunity to clear their name. Sadly even with an apology their image is permanently soiled in the minds of viewers.
I began to wonder after seeing the video, why anyone would show up for gigs then end up as the topic on the internet?To even go as far as slandering them for cheap publicity is even worse.
I call it cheap because there is a line between good content and crass gossip. It is like shooting yourself in the foot. Suffice to say it took a tremendous amount of lobbying and and threat of legal action for the video to be pulled down and for the publisher to issue an apology.
So if people don’t show up for gigs how will the scene grow? who will the bands make music for? Who will the dj play music for.
The scene may blow up after such cheap antics but at what cost? I would definitely not want to be part of that kind of hollow victory. Yes we may reach new bigger audiences but what is the point of drawing crowds if they are there for the wrong reasons?
I strongly believe that there is a place for good content even though everyone around us is busy invading people privacy and destroying lives for a few clicks.
We must create content that is good for the scene, one that doesn’t demean anyone. Slut shaming and name dropping isn’t rock and roll. It definitely has no place in the rock scene.
We must take responsibility for our actions not only to protect the dignity of third parties that may be hurt irredeemably in the process but also for our own dignity, because as the Swahilis say “Maji yakimwagika hayazoleki”.