The Impact of Western Media on African Cultures

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The Impact of Western media on African Cultures By Levis Kamau Introduction
Pop music has become very much popular and widespread among the young people in Nairobi City. It is usually characterised by western behaviours and ways of doings of the west (developed countries) particularly the United States and Jamaica. It is very common to hear young people talking about the pop singers. You will always hear “I like that dance in the song….” “I wish I had such a cloak” “I cant miss the concert by…” now this is an indication that the young people in Nairobi have the pop musicians as their models. It also indicate that pop music has a lot of influence in the day to day lives of the young people in Nairobi.

1. the impact as seen in the mode of dressing
A story is told of a ‘Nairobian’ girl who went to visit her grandmother in some countryside. When she alighted at the small shopping centre, operations were temporarily halted, as she became the centre of interest. And for the next few days she would become they talk of the village. When at last she made it to her grand mother, the old woman could not recognise her; and when she later did, she is said to have ran into the house to bring an old blanket to cover the girl after which she moaned “I’m very sorry, is it the mungiki?” thinking that the girl had been attacked by some thugs who took off with her clothes. In short the girl was scarcely dressed. Now when young people watch pop singers dress in performances, they rush to the shops to get similar clothes: perhaps not differentiating between casual clothes and singing costumes. ‘“I don't know the cause of the sudden revolution” Prime Minister, lord Salisbury complain to a British native 1891, “but there it is.”’ They now talk of minishorts, miniskirts, hipsters, boob-tops and others with such names. ‘What is the matter with women? Is it just me or are women wearing less and less every year? I know I written in support of women’s fashion trends, but there is a limit to everything- even dressing. …There are women who if you meet them out there you maybe forgiven to think that they forgot their cloths at home. After watchingthe recent kisima music awards, I came to a conclusion that our womenfolk are really losing it. … Normal god-fearing Kenyan women are walking down streets with little more than their shoes.’ This kind of dressing contradicts the African traditional way of dressing; where women were supposed to wear slightly loose or fitting dresses with seams far below the knee. ‘Low-riders, barely-there mini skirts, one shouldered blouses, and transparent peasant tops are all the rage, and this trend has been going on longer than anticipated. …I don’t want to discuss the micro-mini. Those things make you look like you shoplifted at ‘The Baby shop’ on Biashara Street’.

3. the impact as seen in behaviours
In this context we can talk of youths that have been accused of making sexual acts in public. Sure, many young people can be seen kissing and making out in public. This goes against ‘their’ culture and local ways of acting, which they have been accused of abandoning. The traditions that have been preserved all through the centuries are facing the danger of extinction. ‘…it is one thing to be daring, but women are just throwing it out there and men are beginning to gawk, and not in a good way.’ this has brought misunderstanding the older generation and the youth. This has led to increase in stress in young people as they feel that nobody understands them. Parents are always heard saying, “we never did what you are doing at your age.”

4. the impact caused in their social beings
‘…It is a little perplexing to see 15-year-old girls taking fashion tips from the likes of Britney spear (now this happens to be one of the pop singers) and some other TV wannabes. …’ The young people have...
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