By Hannah Wallace Bowman
Published December 7, 2015
A new live show addressing love and sex among young people in Kenya has been unveiled.
Matters of Love: The Show, a live production exploring expectations around love and sex, and responsibility in relationships was introduced to the audience during the inaugural Love Matters Music Awards in Nairobi on December 5, 2015.
Matters of Love: The Show is a multimedia production addresses sensitive subjects which often are not addressed by the mainstream, including gender-based violence and what constitutes good and healthy sex. It incorporates spoken word, drama, music and rap, as well as a number of the song entries for the Love Matters Music Awards itself.
Fifteen original songs themed around love, sex and relationships were released for the launch of the Love Matters Music Awards–the first music awards dedicated to providing young Kenyans the chance to produce tracks around love and sexuality–in mid November 2015.
Covering everything from how we deal with rape as a society, to longing to have sex, the songs build on themes identified as central to young Kenyans’ sexual attitudes and experience, by research led by the Institute of Development Studies of England, in collaboration with Love Matters. The young artists who took part in the project are all students at the Sauti Academy of Penya Africa in Nairobi.
The winners of the Love Matters Music Awards were announced at The Creatives Garage in the Adams Arcade neighbourhood, Nairobi.
Joshua Omari, the winner of the Judges’ Choice award with the song, Dot Com, said, “Dot Com is a wake-up call to a perishing generation; it’s a call to go and identify where we went wrong as a society and try and do something about it. Issues like teenage sex and pregnancy, pornography, gender violence and rape are things that have affected almost everyone in Kenya. We don’t talk about them, but it’s there. This is something that needs to be addressed, and change is possible.”
The People’s Choice award went to Helena Judy with the song, Hold My Hand.
Saying she hoped Hold My Hand would help society in talking “about things we can’t talk about,” Helena Judy said the song is based on a true story “about something one of my friends went through. When she was 14, young and naïve, a guy who she thought was her friend took advantage of her.”