From left: Miley Cyrus, Lupita Nyong'o and Rihanna. PHOTO| FILE Drive Hot News
“If I was to start my music career now I never would have made it,” said renowned singer Celine Dion in a recent interview.
Her concerns arose from the level of nudity she sees many performers display these days, including artistes like Rihanna and Miley Cyrus, whose singing is intertwined with their sex appeal.
Celine might have come from the generation when men were gentlemen, women were still virgins and sex – well it was something that was whispered among the few women who were rebels. Either way, they made music that inspired emotions or music that provided a lesson for others.
Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, Bonny M, Abba – the list is endless and I do not have much space to write them all – but if you know these guys, then that means you are no spring chicken and thank God for it for you had a chance to listen to real music.
Though many of these old-timers have retired from performing, their music is still played and has never lost its luster.
Back here at home, the entertainment scene was also taking shape. We realized that we could sing and become actors.
Now I will not bore you with all the history surrounding the genesis of music, but what are the chances that you will make it in the entertainment industry without showing us some parts of your anatomy that were considered a sin to be seen in public ever since Adam and Eve discovered they were naked?
I cannot go on any further without giving Lupita Nyongo as my first illustration. She brought the whole of Kenya to a standstill when she was nominated for an Oscar and finally won it.
The dailies couldn’t stop writing her story and radio hosts were reciting her achievements to us like the Ten Commandments. I myself was not immune to writing a litany of praises for her.
The master’s degree holder from Yale School of Drama might have written or directed a few plays in Hollywood, but we all started to get wind of her after she starred in the African sex-money-power MTV series “Shuga” back in 2009.
After that, the whole world was blown away by her act as Patsy in the historical drama 12 Years a Slave.
This opened the proverbial door for her and she is now maybe at the peak of her career, having dinner with acting heavyweights like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt and making the list of the best-dressed in Joan Rivers’ “Fashion Cop”.
Those who don’t believe in her success may want to attach some innuendo to it, but as long as whatever she did, did not make it to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, then we will all go on believing that she used her talent and brains.
On the music world the fresh, musically talented Camp Mulla were also making headlines in a big way. Heck I know most people would agree with me that the first time we heard “Party Don’t Stop” by these young artistes, we all thought they were not Kenyan.
Blame it on the fact that we have for the past few years been fed music that was stale to our taste buds. The group of four boys and the beautiful lady Karun gave the music world the much needed resuscitation.
The high-quality video and the music that could stir a lusty heart and their style earned them a nomination on BET and a big fan base on social media, garnering over 40,000 fans on Facebook and over 30,000 followers on Twitter.
They released their album “Funky Town” and later parted ways to everyone’s disappointment.
Jumping over to the land of laughter, stand-up comedy has always been dominated by the males from the show “Redykyulus”, with the likes of Kj, Mudomo Baggy, and Nyambane, where they dared to make jokes about the then President Daniel arap Moi – something that was a norm then.
However, the comedy world has changed significantly, with the induction of new faces and most importantly the introduction of Teacher Wanjiku, probably the first woman to try out comedy.
With her above-the-knees polka-dotted dress, a huge bowtie on the head and big sunglasses that could pass for a circus outfit, she tickled her way to the top with her well-known line “Ndio…… halama ya duku duku” with a Kikuyu accent.
Everyone made sure they made a date with the television on Sunday night, not daring to miss what lesson the teacher has devised. Every child in school was imitating her – and when kids know you, it means you are famous, because between school, homework, malls and their iPhone games, they have little time to know you.
Her common slang was adopted in all conversations, and she proved that she could talk to you for 20 minutes and make you laugh.
Old veterans like Eric Wainaina, Suzanne Owiyo, Achieng Abura and Raymond Ofula have made it in their own way in the industry without being scandalous in any way, and when I say scandal here I mean posing in clothes that leave nothing to the imagination either in a picture or video.
The new trend being adopted by artistes, that is, undress to impress, may be argued to be brought forward by the change in the industry all over the world. Your success is measured on your weight, your waist size and, as the new trend setting, in how big your derriere is.
Nazizi started her career when artistes were just a handful and she portrayed the perfect picture of a tomboy or tomgirl with her oversized jeans, snickers and T-shirt.
Veteran actor Ken Ambani, famous for his role as Ken Baraza in the local soap opera “Tausi”, faults the change in trend to copying of the Western world.
COPIES OF RIHANNA AND MILEY CYRUS
What we are seeing now are copies of Rihanna and Miley Cyrus, among others who are best known for their audacity in wearing very flimsy, see-through clothes that leave nothing to the imagination.
“They say when a dog bites a man it is not news but when a man bites a dog then that is news.
This saying is now applicable, since we are seeing an increase in the number of people calling themselves artistes.
The influx has caused these individuals to resort to doing abnormal things so as to get recognition,” said Ken Ambani.
He added, “It is possible to be famous without removing your clothes, I mean I have been doing it for more than 20 years and I have managed to remain relevant even with the change in time. There is nowhere you will see or hear that I removed my clothes so as to get recognition.”
Most of the artistes we have now have failed to bring out their unique talents, hence ending up using their sex appeal to sell themselves. He further quotes a Swahili saying to me that goes,Kizuri chajiuza kibaya chajitembeza.
However, over the years she was forced to rebrand her image due to change and in a recent video we see her looking all girlie, like with make-up, her dreadlocks being styled and maybe a dress top and a tight.
It can be tricky when you are out there with so many people right now who are in lust with fame and not in love forcing them to do things that they can regret later, especially when they do them here, where overexposure of the body is still not well accepted to many.
Above are just a few examples of people who have made history in a way and sometimes given as good examples by parents advising their children who want to pursue careers in entertainment, and the truth is it is not so hard, so the next time you think of becoming famous just ask yourself if you want people to look at you or up to you.