By Lucy Ilado
Nairobi – Kenyan hip hop artist Octopizzo is the first musician to publicly send a message to rioting Kenyan youths and police.
Octopizzo (real name Henry Ohanga), who has been preaching peace via his Tweeter account since before the presidential election results were announced on Friday, recently went on live TV to appeal for calm, peaceful protests and respect for life and property.
Speaking during a visit to Nairobi’s Kibera slum, which was one of the first areas to be hit by election violence, Octopizzo said even though the protesters had the right to show their dissatisfaction with the election outcome, they had no right to loot property or attack others. “Kenya belongs to all of us. Violence is not the solution,” he said.
Octopizzo, who grew up in Kibera, has always shared with the members of the public how proud and happy he is to call the troubled area his home. The rapper also joined human rights activists in condemning the killings by Kenyan police who fired live bullets and tear gas on protesters. “Kenyan Police should not shoot people with live bullets as they are doing in Kibera you are capable of making an arrest NOT KILLING STOP!” he wrote on Tweeter.
At least 24 people, including a 10-year-old girl, have been killed and 150 wounded by Kenyan police since violence broke out in the country on Friday. This is according to figures released by the Kenya Red Cross Society, which reported that it had treated 93 people injured during violent clashes. Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) East Africa reported that 54 people were treated by medics at the organisation’s clinics in Kenya.
Octopizzo released the single ‘Nu Afrika’ on 18 July in which he encourages people to invest and maintain peace in Africa. – Music In Africa