D-Pax in Nairobi

More great work from our community in Nairobi coming out of last year’s #ARTivism Lab.

The group

D-Pax stands for the People of Dagoretti, a suburb of Nairobi, Kenya. The group is an open collective of young artists from the Dagoretti Panch Art School.

Youth came together to nurture their talents, speak out about their challenges and the ills they see in society, the political and economic systems as well as continuous foreign domination. They have explored various ways of expressing themselves engaging in dance, spoken word or music. Their dream is to establish a center where the art school could meet and practice, and ultimately to engage more youth in the project. The group believes art could be a healing outlet for many of the disillusioned youth that is faced with so many obstacles.

Kervo Kiym is part of the D-Pax group and he wrote the song. The other two D-Pax singers in Haki Yangu are Chiro and Kevin.

The song

The song Haki Yangu (Kiswahili- ‘my rights’) speaks of the disillusion of youth and Kenyans in general about political and economic elites that continue to enrich themselves in collaboration with imperialist forces. These leaders may have the same skin colour as the people their rule, but their allegiance is not with them.

Serving only their own and neo-colonial interests, elites manifest cycles of poverty and insecurity. The development agenda sees the construction of infrastructure for business while diminishing space for people to live and demolishing their houses. The government gives tax exemption to foreign companies while taxing every shilling a poor person makes. People struggle every day and work hard, yet they cannot afford the basics: hospitals, water, electricity and food.

Haki Yangu calls out to know the difference in which rights apply and to fight it: “I am not making noise, I am fighting neo-colinialism” – the chorus ends.