Fresh Kid has been in the news in the past couple of weeks and almost each week it has been on numerous grounds. Being a child sensation in the social media age, different media houses and platforms have covered the seven year old rapper – whose real name is Patrick Senyonjo.
Youth Minister Florence Nakiwala Kiyinji came out and ordered the fresh kid to stop rapping and go back to school. But of her reasons for this order was because she thinks the boy is too young to work and to be in certain environments. Uganda’s Labour Law says no one below 18 years should be working and thus her remarks were partly to protect the boy from being exploited. She got bashed by numerous entertainers and Ugandans.
Before I proceed, I would like to first restate a lyric line from South African rapper AKA: None of you leaders resonate with the kids. Her statement in part is an echo of the older generation that kills many dreams and talents by limiting these gift’s exploration.
It is true the boy is too young, but the fact that he has a gift why should he bury it? Do you remember the man who buried his talent? On April 5, on NTV’s Koona Frank Gashumba made a logical opinion about Fresh Kid and the controversy surrounding the boy. He said (to paraphrase) if an individual has Talent, they need Knowledge and then education.
He made it clear that knowledge and education are not necessarily the same. Fresh kid needs guidance, knowledge about music and an education like any other child. I know individuals who dream of becoming DJs and their parents disowned them partly because of ignorance. When we focus on the problem without giving necessary solutions we are killing our own. Yes, the child shouldn’t be exposed to the adult life and that where the guidance will apply.
Fresh Kid was inspired by Fik Famaica which is proof children imitate their adults and others. The Minister likely imitated exactly what the generation before her taught – implicitly or explicitly her statement revealed. Fresh Kid is among the many children with talent that need their issues to be solved, their situations to be improved instead of statements that don’t solve problems but sound impractical. It is important to understand the child’s reality.
Danieal Kalinaki had this to say about Fresh Kid and his generation:
Nevertheless, this generation shares at least two realities. One, it has a wider world view than that before it; the promise of ‘go to school, read hard, get a good job and retire to the village’ makes no sense to people who see university graduates working as night guards while talented people make millions, or to people with no villages to retire to, for that matter.
Secondly, those in this generation – contrary to what minister Kiyingi says – already have the burden of looking after their families. In fact, with only a few exceptional cases of old money and nouveau riche types, this is the generation that has to look after itself, its parents, its children and its extended families – regardless of whether one works in an air-conditioned office or pushes handcarts in the sweltering heat.
Parents who send their kids out to perform in dingy bars in Nansana on weekday nights do not do so out of a dereliction of duty, but out of a mixture of hope and desperation. They’ve never heard of ‘net present value’ but they know they’d better have the rent when the landlord comes a-knocking ina de yard ina da morning!
Fresh Kid being a rapper who possibility might know less about the elements of hip hop and the minister as well: Knowledge is a fundamental element of hip hop and thus the Minister needs that for herself and the young rapper needs it greatly. He doesn’t deserve blinding criticism and other who will come after him – for his creativity, his growth and more.