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It's Pop Culture People

Updated: Aug 27, 2023


Connecting Pop Culure and african Narratives Event Poster


The changes in the social climate in Nairobi deemed the entrance of new trends in popular culture. There are many ways in which the youth are defining popular culture through different forms of art, which ultimately redefines the social climate.

On Saturday 5th August, I got to attend the pop culture event by Shadow Walkers. Shadow Walkers by @mutendei_writes, is a fantasy adventure story focusing on illuminating African legends and cultural history, where the gods of Africa are revealed while dealing with an internal Pantheon war. Their goal is to put African gods cinematically on the same level as other mythological legends and display Africa's global historic cultural influence before colonialism. I was lucky enough to meet a myriad of people from various backgrounds, which showed how popular culture is a tool used to bring like-minded people together.


crowd photo at lava latte
@ijustanerd

crowd photo at lava latte











Our fun host, @ijustanerd was able to engage them all into discussions, where he got Kenyans to actually actively participate in a discussion that wasn't about "the economy" or "our government". I know right? The discussions were a reflection of how the youth choose to tackle the issues they face, where they are able to break them down into a manner that is palatable to them based on context clues. The discussion was very refreshing, enlightening and empowering, and I could only liken it to a Ted Talk. I learned a lot about African culture and the way it intertwines with western ideals in popular culture. For example, did you know that Marvel's character, Luke Cage is actually based on Luanda Magere? I got to understand that we as the youth are using our own language and symbols to understand the world and establish new norms and traditions.


Merchandise from Raim Collection
@Raimcollection

As I was going about my evening, I also came across a vendor, Wayne Njaaga, who assists people in using clothes as a medium of communicating and expressing who they are. In addition to raim collection, Wayne and his team also run Maktaba Studios, where they make custom notebooks, art books, sketch pads and comic books among other things. Throughout I saw how people found what was common and uncommon amongst them and used that to effectively communicate and understand each other. Not just as creatives but as humans. I got to see that as much as we have a lot in common with people that come from the same walks of life that we do, the same can be said about those who don't. I never thought I would be able to witness pop culture make such an impact, as in such a small space, we were able to generate big ideas.It's been said that where we come from; backgrounds, race, traditions, history, practices etc make up our identities. I suppose that's true, as a collective factor "who we are as a people". However, it's what's our particular interests in things like music, arts, fashion, sports, foods, entertainment; the beauty in the details, that makes us who we are as individuals. Infact they're intertwined as they do exist together at the same time, making us who we are individually and collectively. We make pop culture. It's what makes us similar but unique. Being in a space where we used pieces of ourselves to bond and form a community was such a beautiful experience. On that note, what's your definition?! Rather, what's your version of pop culture?!

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