Marathon Metaphors is a hip-hop documentary Produced, Written & Directed by Artist James Noggz Kamawe in various parts of Kenya.
During a visit to his native country Kenya, Noggz embarked on a tour of virtually every neighborhood, district, region, ghetto and area where hip-hop culture was kept alive simply by the dreams of many hungry prospective artists of all kinds.
Amidst tribal tensions and uncertainty surrounding the fate of Kenya as the general election approaches in March 2013, Hip-Hop has served as a vessel of artistic expression that unites the youth.
Marathon Metaphors takes you through Kenya’s underground hip-hop scene where a slew of artists vow to stay true to the culture while still getting their message across.
London (UK) – The Olympics of 2012 brought a bundle of joy to various countries around the world. Every time the games come back around, each country is sure to send their most elite athletes to represent their respective flags and is expected to bring home a medal — hopefully the gold! But one thing is for sure, their is no country more prideful and supportive of their athletes than Kenya. This country is known for breeding some of the fastest runners in the world who usually have no problem dominating long-distance running competitions.
Heavily favored to do well in this year’s Olympics were Kenya’s David Rudisha, Linet and Moses Masai.
On The Contrary
Team Kenya took home 11 medals during the events but some say this was almost ‘shameful’ because they were expected to dominate even more.
Upon competing in the Beijing Olympics, which yielded Kenya a total of 14 medals, Team Kenya’s performance was held to a high standard. Supposedly, Kenya will launch an investigation in order to get better understanding as to why the team did not meet certain expectations. Some believe that it was a lack of thorough coaching.
Talent: Superior and Beyond
Kenya’s triumph can be summed up with one name — David Rudisha. A top-notch by-product of Kenya, David Rudisha made his presence felt at home, in London, and most importantly worldwide. Rudisha celebrated humbly after setting a world record and winning the men’s 800m final. To make victory even sweeter, he did it as his idol and friend Seb Loe, who himself, held the world record (1981-1997) in the event. David Rudisha’s 1min 40.90sec victory will forever be one of the world’s most remarkable feats. Yes there should be some concern for Kenya’s shortcomings in the London Olympics but for the most part, the main focus, for now, should be the accomplishments of their athletes. Enjoy the moment, Kenya’s time is NOW!
“Today the weather was beautiful… I decided to go for it.”
Sometimes we seem to forget about the most important things in life. We tend to take things for granted. It isn’t until one day, when something happens, and makes us realize that someone always has it worse.
Enter K’naan…..Born Keinan Abdi Warsane, Somali rapper, who’s been through so much as a youth, pain, violence, explosions,war, gun shots, and death. Growing up in Somalia, K’naan describes his life as being turbulent. He recalls times that he and other kids from his neighborhood would find live hand grenade. Sometimes they would pull the pin, throw them, and watch them go off. Seems kind of unreal but the rap artist remains humble and keeps his story real as it could get.
“Fatima”, a song about a girl he grew up with. He says this song is personal because it was his first taste of puppy love. During a period of one of Somalia’s most violent eras, K’naan and his family were forced to leave his country. The youngster promised his girlfriend he would return one day but his promise would never be fulfilled. He learned that his girlfriend was killed in the war. He revealed that the video for the song would be a message better portryed if it had images from his childhood mixed in, combined with a ‘Bollywood’ feel to it.
K’naan says experiences as such such pushed him towards being a musician. The singer recently revealed that he originally wanted to avoid being a musical artist because there are numerous family members who are and have been musicians. He says it would seem to be a cliche to follow their path. His aunt Magool wa one of the country’s most prominent singers. She built such a following, she was forced into exile for being outspoken against the government. His grandfather, Haji Mohammed, was a gifted poet. K’naan credits Haji for helping him find his identity. K’naan recalls though, he became fascinated with hip hop records as his father sent them from America. His father chose to leave Somalia sooner then everyone else.
It’s the kickoff of the 2010 World Cup of Soccer and K’naan has been chosen to sing his hit anthem ‘Wavin Flag’. Coca-Cola placed the young rapper in the center of their marketing campaign, which would include close to 160 countries. The rapper helped rake in millions of dollars. Even with his position he remained humble. The young artist split his profits with Coca-Cola. We definitely haven’t heard the last of K’naan.
** Note from the editor **
K’naan is on the fast track to becoming a worldwide unsung hero. This humble gentleman has traveled a long journey which some of us may never begin to understand or have the ability to measure the richness in his storied background. Yet, K’naan’s past history has helped groom him into one of the industry’s realest and mostintriguing artists. (This article was originally written on October 24, 2012)