News

Kenyan Elections: This is What You Need to Know

Kenya's election tomorrow has many at the edge of their seat, here's why.

Kenyans will vote to elect a new president tomorrow, in a close race between incumbent president, Uhuru Kenyatta, and opposition leader Raila Odinga.


Odinga lost to Kenyatta during the highly-contested 2013 elections in which the computerized voting system failed, resulting in a manual counting of the votes.

Odinga, who's running for office for the fourth time, accused the ruling Jubilee Party of election fraud following 2013's results, but his motion was denied in court.

This time around, a new electronic system commissioned by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will be used to count the votes. The system is intended to provide accuracy and fairness in determining election results.

Last week, the tech manager behind the new software, Chris Msando, was murdered just a few days before he was set to lead the public testing of the new voting system.

While in Rwanda there was little doubt that incumbent president Paul Kagame, would once again sweep the election, Kenya's elections appear to be much more competitive. Polls are showing that the results could realistically swing in either direction.

The two opponents share a long history. This is the second time that the two are running against each other for office. Fifty-five year-old Kenyatta's father was the first President of Kenya, while Odinga's father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga served as his vice president, before the two had a falling out in 1966, giving way to major political rivalries across ethnic lines.

The violence that erupted following the 2008 election in which 1,200 people were killed came as a surprise to many international observers. Though 2013's, election was mostly peaceful, many are still readying for the possibility of post election violence, given Uhuru's supposed involvement in the ethnic violence which ensued in 2008—he was relieved of these charges by the International Criminal Court in 2014. Nonetheless, around 180,000 police officers have been deployed around the country ahead of Tuesday's elections, reports the Guardian.

A number of factors will determine the vote, including ethnic ties, land rights, unemployment, and the ongoing drought which has been affecting parts of the country since 2016.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

How Nigerian Streetwear Brand, Daltimore, is Rising To Celebrity Status

We spoke with founder and creative director David Omigie about expression through clothing and that #BBNaija pic.