Leave Akothee alone — especially if your name is Dr Ezekiel Mutua, MBS.
Last weekend, Akothee, Kenya’s most controversial female musician, delivered one of her usual electrifying performances down at the Coast.
Clad in a pearl white costume, black tights and white boots, her braided hair held back in a tight bun, Akothee enthralled her legion of fans with her suggestive, interesting dance moves, including one where she lay on her back, legs akimbo and another where she knelt with her taut derrière in the air.
From the look of things, I am certain a jolly good time ensued.
It was this performance that led Mutua to condemn the musician in a massively popular Facebook post that has attracted thousands of ‘likes’ and comments.
Perched on his moral high horse, a clearly enraged Mutua bitterly admonished Akothee for doing what she loves: dancing. “People like Akothee cannot be the role models for our daughters,” he seethed. “It’s demonic to the core and only appeals to debilitating and incorrigible perverts and brainless audiences.”
No, Mr. Mutua. We are not a brainless audience. And who is the ‘incorrigible pervert” here? What were you thinking — nay, what were you looking at as you watched Akothee’s performance?
A man pushing 60 who posts selfies and photos of his diplomatic passport on Facebook should be the last person in this country to condemn Akothee for her alleged lack of manners. Mutua has no right — in heaven and on earth — to tell women, and especially Akothee, what to do with our bodies, leave alone how to dance.
You see, there are many reasons to love Akothee, even though her music might not be one of those. Akothee, a single mother of five, is a woman difficult to shame. She walks around in her bikini with unprecedented ease. She is comfortable in her dark skin and her long legs that just won’t quit.
She is a woman unafraid to live her life the best way she knows how. Unafraid to speak her mind and her truth. Unafraid to do what pleases her. Unafraid to live without the burden of seeking our approval. Unafraid to take on Pharisees such as Mutua.
Mutua’s social media accounts depict a self-absorbed, showy man of suspect moral standards. Anyone who does not conform to his narrow views, or dares to disagree with his jaundiced approach to matters morality, is either an enemy or “demonic”.
I say “suspect moral standards” confidently because if Mutua has chosen to go down this road of criticising creatives — and particularly those in the music industry — then I am curious to know why he remained quiet when it emerged that two gospel artists had raped a woman and one of them infected the victim with a sexually transmitted disease.
Does his religion only allow him to chastise secular musicians while looking the other way when gospel artistes turn out to be sexual miscreants?
But it is not his hypocrisy or his rub-it-in-our-faces religiosity that is annoying. What really irks me is how we allow male musicians to get away with all manner of gross antics on stage while we judge the likes of Akothee so harshly.
Male musicians are allowed to sag their pants, grab their crotches and even go topless in music videos and on stage. Sauti Sol, for example, have appeared topless in their music videos, dancing suggestively with video vixens. Akothee didn’t even have to dance with a male fan before Mutua was all over her case.
The other day, comedian Eric Omondi filmed himself naked, jumping into a puddle with children, yet we did not hear Mutua call him out for not being a “role model”. Not once has Akothee gone nude; her greatest crime so far is dancing.
What is it about women’s bodies that bothers Mutua and his ilk?
What Akothee is doing, whether she realises this or not, is bringing down unrealistic patriarchal canons that dictate what women should or should not do with their bodies.
By walking in that bikini and showing off that glorious, well-toned, slim body, Akothee is sending a very strong message to a society that holds women to a higher standard than men.
If Akothee’s legs bother Mutua so much, he should go to Turkana and Samburu and ask the women who walk topless there to cover up — for morality’s sake.