Angela Mwandanda aka Shinde, one of the members of Kenya's most iconic girl groups, Tattuu, is back on the scene after a hiatus that saw her branch out into public relations, writing and event management.
After hearing her first single in a while, I'm glad she's back and ready to grow.
I think the reason this song resonates with me so much is the messaging, and the cast she chose to accompany her on this journey of music. Let's talk first about the video.
The song opens on a black screen that bears the quote: “The biggest myth about marriage is that you could never be happy alone,” credited to 'anonymous'. That quote sets the tone for the message of the whole song.
Shinde stars in the music video as a bridesmaid who's wondering about all the pressure she is being put under to get married, as if, of course, husbands are found in the bargain aisle in the supermarket.
She is standing at the front, with the bride, looking over the crowd, thinking about all she has seen and the men she has dated, and even considering some men in the crowd before her – some gross, some creepy, some already attached and forgetting that they are so inclined.
The video follows Shinde through the wedding to the throwing of the bouquet, then moves to the second half of the seven-minute production, at the after party, a style imitated perhaps from, more recently, Rihanna's “Work” video. In between these shots, the sterling guest appearances are given room to shine.
PRESSURE TO MARRY
I love the messaging. There's a lot of pressure on women to get married and do the right thing; follow the formula of finding a perfect husband, perfect children and living that perfect life, while in reality, that isn't achievable for everyone, nor is it desirable for everyone.
Getting married isn't the ‘be all end all’ of a comprehensive adult experience. Sometimes you want to, but you can't. And sometimes, you just can't.
I also really enjoyed hearing a few of the good old Ogopa originals lending their verses on the track. By far the greatest surprise was Big Pin, who we get to see without a hat on (it didn't used to happen often). The reason it's a good surprise is because we haven't seen him that much in recent years, and one can only hope he is making a return to the music we knew and loved so well. Not that the new kids on the block aren't making their own splashes – we have our poetically inclined brothers like Khaligraph Jones, Steph Kapela et al to illuminate the musical path before us – but it's always nice to see the OGs in the game, a la Nyashinski.
Nameless takes over the second verse, with a bit of autotune as usual, but no one even holds this against our favourite dreaded architect any more – or at least, this writer doesn't. I didn't enjoy his verse as much as I enjoyed Shinde's singing or Big Pin's lines, perhaps because I am ready for some new material from Nameless, even though “Ninanoki” will always be a popular choice for me where Nameless is concerned. He did his thing, ad-libbing over the vocals with Shinde, but for me, it wasn't the strongest part of the song.
Then, in the second half of the song, entered Pascal Tokodi, perhaps a representation of fresh blood? Whatever the case, Pascal Tokodi is a talent and a half – he raps, he sings, he acts, and he looks fantastic, and we stay wondering how he does it all. But in this song, for some reason, his lyrics fell flat. What do you mean we can be the talk of the town? Who, in a real relationship, wants to be the talk of the town? How is that a priority? I was confused at his choice of words.
Overall, I really like the song, and I can't wait to hear more from Shinde. The video has garnered 100,000 views and counting, and I'm excited for a little more seasoning in Kenya's musical offerings.