Recently, Kenyan young and enterprising spoken word artist Gufy launched his album ‘Misimu’. misimu is a Kiswahili word for seasons. The album has five carefully chosen poems that have been performed in the most compelling way.
Right away from the background music to the delivery, the poems ring nostalgia and pain that has always been the signature of the oppressed. They tell the story of Kenya’s post-election violence to the present day fallacy of recycling leaders read countries like Uganda, Rwanda, Zimbabwe and Kenya.
The first piece is called “Hardships Na silence”. The piece has a good kick on the punch, lines like; “tutakashifu uongozi mmbaya lakini tutawarudisha kwa power, wao hao ndio wanaotuletea madhara. Kama lugha ya mama sio sawa hakuna vile tutahusiana.” Loosely translated to, “We condemn bad leadership, yet we still elect them into power. If our mother tongue is not same, there is no way we shall relate.” Gufy delivers a thematic message that runs through the poem. The poem is a stark reminder that, everything the common people suffer, is because of their complacency. He further reminds his audience how corruption isn’t about government losing millions but the common man losing billions in the name of buying cheap justice.
The second poem, love exposes the intensity of technology and how human interaction has been reduced to software designed emotions. He uses the imagery of love to stare at technology and rebuke human self-satisfaction.
The next piece, “Ndimi Tamu” (sweet tongues) cuts deep into the wound of reality when it digs out the ignorance of the masses. It lets the audience bleed at their own folly when the electioneering year beckons and politicians like a swarm of bees migrate from the comfort of the parliament to peddle more lies and deliver promises. The second last poem fills the air with a prayer and appeal to the deity. With words like “I wonder who proposed that wages of my sins be charged against the mercies of king.” Gufy prays to the almighty. The poem ends with several biblical citations. The last poem, “Misimu”, sounds more of an autobiography of the young and talented Gufy.
With such a compelling 25 minutes collection, Gufy reminds his fans various introspective issues that go unnoticed as human beings constantly see the speck in their neighbors’ eyes. He pours his heart out in a rather bitter and nostalgic tone which creates a mood of self-reflection. The mixture of Swahili and English makes the poems easier to consume with both young and old audience without consulting youth for the difficult sheng (Kenyan slang) words. He has specifically made this collection for all ages and nations which can understand both Swahili and English. The album sells in the neighborhood of $5.
Gufy also known by the name Oscar Ogero, is a film production graduate. In poetry and performance, the 23-year-old started performing at a tender age but got to writing his own pieces at age 13
He was crowned the 43rd Poetry Slam Champion and is currently the MC of the famous Slam Africa Poetry in Kenya. He is also the founder of an event in his hometown Nakuru called Upgrade Poetry. The poet runs a successful blog called www.ogerooscar.wordpress.com.