Of the Idols,Tusker Project Fake & Dance Africa

In this era of imitations, wannabes, piracy and all terms related to anything that defies the natural order of things, creativity is slowly becoming like proverbial dinosaurs.

Realism is slowly becoming a luxury rather than the norm everywhere one turns. People’s laugh is not real anymore and neither is our perception of life and entertainment.

International entertainment players who initially would never have imagined the idea of going to third world un-developed countries for anything are now falling over themselves in all manner of idol projects.

Tusker Project Fake(TPF)

It all began last year when EABL sought to make young people’s dreams of being celebutards come true- I call it celebutards because the results can very well be seen now. Name me at least 3 finalists who got their big break from the ‘noble’ project.

This year, they are at it again. This time round having learnt that they went about it all the wrong way from the manner in which they conducted the auditions (there were only Kenyan contestants yet it was an EA affair) to the judges picked (They picked only 1 Kenyan producers to carry out all auditions)

The ideal situation in such projects is that, not only does the winner gain that platform to blow and become an overnight idol(to use their cliché words), the finalists also get their big break to release their albums and join stardom. A spot check on similar projects carried out in the U.S and Europe have brought us Fantasia Barino, Kelly Clarkson among others.

What puzzles me most about the whole EABL project despite the fact they have corrected the earlier gaffes is the choice of Judges.

Now, many Kenyans who has heard of Genge and Kapuka know its history- for those seeing these two words for the first time, Genge/Kapuka are poor imitated Kenyan genre versions of Rap/Hip-hop.
This Genre was born through the efforts of one computer geek who happened to know of a music making software – Frutti loops. That IT geek was none other than Clemo of Juacali Records.

I have no problem with Clemo making Rap because, it is clear that it has its fan base. One problem I have though is how he got picked to judge a competition where Raping is not allowed!!!! The guy probably didn’t even take music as a subject in school to tell a Soprano from a tenor, a bass to an Alto.
The question I ask is, can a blind person tell you what to look out for when walking?

American-African Idols
As though competing with TPF, MNET through Multichoice Kenya, decided to do a local version of the American Idols.
I say competition because the auditions for both events were done around the same time and there were even instances of poaching (A friend of mine who had gone for the Idols auditions at KICC received a TPF t-shirt and entry forms)
I am beginning to hate local versions of anything first targeted at a different culture. Another good example is Donald Trump’s local version of ‘The Apprentice’ whose African Version held in Nigeria was termed as a big flop.
MNet looked around, offcourse through the help of Multichoice Kenya office staff and the only person they found qualified enough to be in the panel of Judges was none other than Angela Angwenyi.

Angela only came into public existence last year when Kiss FM picked her up as one of its radio show hosts. She does not have a musical career background except a stint at K1 Clubhouse during Karaoke nights.
Would anyone talk of Achieng Abura and Angela in the same breath? I rest my case.

Dance Africa Competition
This is a dancing competition that is also being launched by Multichoice Kenya through Channel O.
Auditions will be done soon at Club Galileo in Nairobi with the Judges being………………………………….you guessed right, Wahu(yes, Namelesses Wife) and some guy who appeared in one of Wyre’s videos. Surely is Wahu an authority in the Kenyan Dance scene? Those who watch her song videos please tell me.

Conclusion
My concern is, do we really expect talent to be sighted in the 3 projects with the choice of judges in place? I tend to feel that the picking of Judges is not being done in a professional way rather its who knows who.

The same thing happened with Emcee Africa competitions (also a project of DSTV Multichoice). I was there during the auditions and all I can say was I was terribly disappointed. Nazizi is not an authority in Hip-hop. Her judgement was not based on content but looks and her moods (she was differing with Mwafrika and Abass just for the sake of it). Now, I understand, she is the one who has been picked to be in the panel of Judges in S.A for the finals. And we keep asking ourselves what is ailing the Kenyan Entertainment Industry.
Let us wait and see. In the meantime, your comments are very welcome.

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Showcasing the best in Kenyan Arts;Music,writing,Poetry,fine art and art reviews as well as info on emerging art trends. “Art is not about thinking something up. It is the opposite…getting something down.”