Friday, May 19, 2017

Jaguar borrowing a leaf from Sugu and Prof Jay

Singer Jaguar, will he be a kigeugeu after

Singer Jaguar, will he be a kigeugeu after being elected to power? PHOTO | FILE 

By By Sauli Giliard

The General Elections in Kenya are around the corner and it is proving to be quite a contest that will take only the best to win.

There have been the mergers, the defections and even the rise of some new forces that all seek nothing but to win the mandate to take over public office at different levels.

There has always been a thing about entertainers and politics as the two fields with more artistes trying out their luck in the political arena than on the stage.

In Tanzania, the last elections saw droves try their hands in the game with rappers Sugu and Prof Jay being elected to the parliament.

In Kenya a similar situation seems to be playing out as several artistes and celebrities are seeking the voters’ mandate to become legislators.

Charles Njagua Kanyi aka Jaguar is a popular name across East Africa who seem to be headed in that direction after he clinched the Jubilee nomination at Starehe preliminary.

Jaguar’s association with the corridors of power is not new, especially his association with President Kenyatta who even appointed him as director of National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (Nacada).

Jaguar who is believed to be one of the richest musicians in East Africa first came to the limelight following his Kigeugeu hit which became an award winning hit.

Turning to politics means the flamboyant Jaguar is upping the ante treading a step higher than some of his closest rivals in the industry especially Prezzo.

But even then the present seems to be one that promises a great future for a musician who started his entrepreneurial skills as a street hawker.

So what is next for the singer as he runs for political office in one of the most competitive constituencies in the Kenyan capital?

Many have questioned the reason why a successful artiste like jaguar would leave it all just for politics.

Is it the opportunity for self-aggrandizement and personal enrichment that has lured him into what many have on many occasions called the dirty game or he is one of a kind who genuinely cares and wants to make a difference.

This brings him on the verge of joining other East African artistes such as Joseph Mbilinyi ‘Sugu’ and Joseph Haule aka Prof Jay who are legislators in Tanzania’s Parliament.

He has somewhere he can borrow a leaf from. Sugu, who is Mbeya Urban’s MP is in parliament for the second term and as usual he continues to be the same activist he was before he even thought of running for a political seat.

It is actually believed that it was his win that influenced the rapper Prof Jay to vie for a political post in 2015 which he won quite comfortably.

However, it was not all rosy for compatriot Seleman Msindi aka Afande Sele as he just couldn’t convince the electorate then.

Jaguar’s celebrity appeal to the wider audience is something that has been in play for quite a while especially after he sung about corrupt politicians in his hit single ‘Kigeugeu’.

Jaguar seems to be prepared to take whatever is thrown at him with his days at Nacada having prepared him for intrigues of power struggles.

By throwing himself in the mix, the singer knows what is at stake even if it means dividing his legion of fans who at sometime listened to his ‘Kigeugeu’ like some national hymn.

In Jaguar’s Kigeugeu hit, the artiste says everyone who he knows is turning against him.

From his wife to the midwife, as he just can’t guess how even his close friends are likely to behave given the state of affairs.

Perhaps the new face in Kenyan politics will use more ‘energy’ on stage to distance him from kind of ‘fickle’ politicians whom he sings about in his song.

According to him, these politicians return to the electorate after five years with potbelly, a symbolism that they have become rich, while they have done nothing in their respective areas.

Due to his touchy lyrics, he will have to prove to his electorate that he is not just one of a kind with a promise of not letting them down.

Whether artistes make good politicians or not remains a matter of debate, going by the Tanzanian example maybe Jaguar is just the inspiration that many young Kenyan youth have been waiting for.