Song: Don’t be Snooty with the Kenyans

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If there is one thing guaranteed to rile our Stella it is the patronising British attitude to the ‘Africans’. “Africa is a continent… not a bloody country!” she begins to wail to ultra-middle-class golf club types up who momentarily glance at their shoes before going back to bragging and brandishing upon the fine exploits of young, trainee doctor, Tarquin.

“It is not just a holiday park for your grown up kids to go bungee jumping while pretending to build hospitals…!” she rushes on, two feet firmly planted on the floor and hands on hips. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to discover that one has caused quite a lot of offense in the past. Absolutely the world is Tarquin’s playground? But never deterred she always continues: “The colonial age was supposed to have died decades ago…”

Eventually she got so incensed by the whole obnoxious attitude she decided to write a song in praise of Kenyan tech innovation.  She even took her inspiration from Mr Colonial himself, Noel Coward.


Please don’t be snooty with the Kenyans by Stella & the Kikuyu Coders

Music credit: Noel Coward

Please don’t be stuck-up with the Kenyans,
Don’t you see how skilled their tech inventions are?
Mains power may run quite sparsely
Fiscal outlook’s not the best
But to say Kenya’s not visionary
Is daft thinking from the west
Take a little look:
With lateral thinking and some guts
They reinvented banking with just a phone
Made mobile chargers run on shoes
Flushed aflotoxins from their food
Still they get a condescending tone
Africa all round
Hears condescending sounds
From travellers at the Muthaiga Club
‘Gap yars’ who bungee jump
Twits who sigh: “it’s so real”
While un-western thinking gets a snub
But don’t be smug
With your Msungu mug
Africa’s a creative hub
It’s challenging
Quite terrifying
But slowly making headway
By people who truly know the land
And produce innovations that the west can’t understand
Please don’t be stuck-up with Africans,
Look at all the things
They’ve gone and ruddy done
There’s agri-protein, quick-press bricks and turbines with no blades
Big data from Ethiopia – a new crop-saving aid
Agri, science, tech
Local inventors: African specs
If Borlaug was around, he’d hand on his crown
Income from Moringa, thermal powered huskers
There’s waterless sanitation
Electro-teabags for filtration
So please stop with all the stuck-up frowns
Please don’t be snooty with the Kenyans
For Nairobi isn’t Guildford after all
It’s not a case of catching up
Though the iHub’s rather neat
They’re building Konza city
A huge engineering feat
Please be fair with them
And maybe even learn from them.
‘Cos we’re not upon this world all on our own
Let’s soften their life-blows again
And help them with cash-flow again
Just lose the bloody condescending tone

First published on Searchlight Magazine Arts…

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