ABSTRACTIn this article politics is argued to be an important driver of the practice of codeswitching in the kinds of texts — like popular music texts — that are produced for extensive circulation within the African post-colony. The argument is anchored in a discourse analysis of the Kenyan hip-hop track ‘Otongolo Tyme’ by Poxi Presha. There is heavy code-switching both in the verbal and the musical components of ‘Otongolo Tyme’. By closely examining the code-switching in the track and reading it in context the article demonstrates that the code-switching in ‘Otongolo Tyme’ was imbricated in the politics of tribe that dominated public life in Kenya at the close of the twentieth century. This article ultimately demonstrates that the extension of cultures and of the identities tied to them that results from the interaction of different languages in a sustained manner over extended periods of time does not automatically translate into a modification in the relationship among the cultures in contact. Indeed, the case proved by the code-switching in ‘Otongolo Tyme’ is that in the tribalised Kenya of the 1990s new ideas were deliberately deployed to uphold the notions of difference that defined the relationship among the country’s different ethnic groups.
Mboya, T.M., 2014. Like Chicken. In I. A. Otieno An Anthology of Short Stories and Poems from East Africa. Sentia Publishing Company, p. 209-210.
Mboya, M.T., 2014. Living off the Stony Farm: Address and Diasporic Consciousness in “Shamba la Mawe” by Awilo Mike. Eastern African Literary and Cultural Studies, 1, p.167-177. Website Abstract
This article reads diasporic consciousness in the song “Shamba la Mawe” by the Kenyan artiste, Awilo Mike. It takes as its entry point for the reading the fact that Peter, the speaker in the song's lyrics, a Kenyan migrant in Europe, addresses two groups of Kenyans separately and together. The first of the two groups lives in Kenya, the second lives in Europe. The notion that forms of address may reveal information about the person of the addressor is relied on to shepherd the scrutiny of Peter's linguistic reference to his collocutors and the languages he uses in addressing the collocutors into a decoding of his diasporic consciousness. The focus of the analysis is thus on the addressing individual, the speaker, who presents himself as belonging to the two groups that he addresses. Information relating to the career of Awilo Mike is mobilized to conflate the character Peter's utterance and the song “Shamba la Mawe”, which it is part of.
Mboya, T.M. & Ce, C., 2013. The Bicycle. In African Short Stories. African Books Network.
Mboya, T.M., 2011. An African Man. In B. Muluka & T. Otieno The Doomed Conspiracy and Other Stories. Nairobi: East African Educational Publishers, p. 195-211 .
Mboya, T.M., 2010. Foreword. In Counterpoint and Other Poems. Nairobi: Oxford University Press, p. x-xii.