"Young man, you keep insisting that this is your thing, and what should your fellow men seduce?": Sex, HIV/AIDS and Tribal Politics in the Benga of Okatch Biggy

Tom Michael Mboya


This article argues that the celebration of sex in the music of Okatch Biggy is a response to the ethnicized politics of post-colonial Kenya. The argument is that as a Luo ethnic nationalist Okatch Biggy defends and promotes the stereotypical characterization of the Luo as epicurean hedonists, regardless of the fact that Biggy's music was recorded in a context in which HIV/AIDS was an important feature. Biggy's motivation for doing this is the political necessity to have his people have pride in their identity -- an important point in a political context where tribal competition for power spawns practices that demean members of ethnic communities defined as the enemy.


Okatch Biggy, popular music, HIV/AIDS, tribal politics, denial

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