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"Taking Injustice Personally"

Juliani's new song offers an opportunity for reflection on the society we are creating

Tuesday the 16th of May 2017 saw members of civil society, music lovers and ordinary citizens converge at the Michael Joseph centre for the video launch of Juliani's new song 'Machozi ya Jana'. Composed in memory of the victims and families of those who have lost their lives to extrajudicial killings, the launch also gave the opportunity to members of the public to have a discussion on extrajudicial killings and what can be done about them. 

Moderated by Wamaitha Kimani of the International Justice Mission (IJM), the panelists sought ways in which these killings could be conclusively halted, how to make them a concern for members of the public and how to end the entrenched culture of police brutality. Panelists included Mzalendo Mulingwa Garang of Ghetto Radio, Steven Musau of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA Kenya) Juliani, and George Kegoro of the Kenya Human Rights Commission.

As action continues to be sought to this end, the song offers us a necessary moment for meditation on the kind of society we have allowed ours to be; of brutality rather than humaneness. 'Machozi ya Jana' is powerful and evocative and reminds us that as a nation we have not been collectively working to the goal of dignity and justice for all Kenyans. Indeed, in situations such as these, the police dehumanize themselves as much as the people they dehumanize by killing extrajudicially. However, this problem will not be solved by finger pointing and laying blame but in collectively seeking answers. It is a challenge to do as Thomas Sankara exhorted: To dare to invent our futures.

Here are the lyrics below for your reflection. 

 

Machozi Ya Jana
Inauma hii side ya left ya chest
Naomba boxes zingine za handkerchief
Machozi iligeuza mchanga matope penye umerest
Hii si whatsap group unaeza rudi ukileft
Waliwakata mabawa, usifly again, again...
Clouds ni grey, nguo ni black, macho ni red, colours za pain
It takes a long day kujua life ni short
Life haina remote, unaeza fast forward ama  urewind, to a happier episode
Machozi ya jana haigandi
Tutapanguza na furaha ya justice

They took you away
Hatuko nawe
Lala, lala salama.
Hatuko nawe,
They took you away
Tutapatana
Machozi ya jana.

Nilijaribu kujiconvince
Hauko huku juu ya mapenzi ya Mungu
Ukweli ni roho za statue ndani ya watu
Sababu, seriousness ya poisonous snake, tusipuuze kaa cuteness ya pet
Kwa mkono mngekimbilia ndio mliangamia
Hamkunuwia mlo waliwandalia
Sound ya glass ya champagne, ikigonga cheers, impunity ikicelebrate
Itateasiwa na sauti ya nyundo kwa court, wakiface judgement
Iwe funzo kwa wenye tabia kama hiyo
Mwizi wa uhai, hukumu isiwe kuchunwa sikio

They took you away
Hatuko nawe
Lala, lala salama.
Hatuko nawe,
They took you away,
Tutapatana
Machozi ya jana.

Wewe Mungu wajua njia zangu, yatengeze
Yale siwezi yasongeze
Wewe ndiye nguvu ya wanyonge
Ewe Mungu wajua njia zangu, yatengeze
Yale siwezi yasongeze
Wewe ndiye nguvu ya wanyonge

Nalilia yatima, wajane kama Hannah, maspouse
Damu crying for justice
Itarun kama maji kwa fereji State House
More than hashtag, placards
Si waiter tu ndio waingie behind bars
Enough is enough
Ujuzi ya nurse haisidii ndani ya hearse
Usiblame mguu for destination
Ni kichwa iliipatia direction

They took you away
Hatuko nawe
Lala, lala salama.
Hatuko nawe
They took you away
Tutapatana
Machozi ya jana X2

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