The big irony in Ethic’s apology over controversial song ‘Tarimbo’

By Brian Okoth On Tue, 5 Nov, 2019 20:48 | 3 mins read
If Ethic meant what they said in their apology, then it would be in proper taste to pull down the song from their official YouTube page. [PHOTO | FILE]
If Ethic meant what they said in their apology, then it would be in proper taste to pull down the song from their official YouTube page. [PHOTO | FILE]
Editor's Review
    After nearly one week of receiving flak over their controversial song called Tarimbo, music group Ethic crafted an apology and shared it on Twitter on Tuesday, November 5.

After nearly one week of receiving flak over their controversial song called Tarimbo, music group Ethic crafted an apology and shared it on Twitter on Tuesday, November 5.

The four-member group comprising Rekles, Swat, Zilla and Seska released the frowned-upon song on Thursday, October 31, catching the attention of Kenya film board boss, Dr Ezekiel Mutua, who said the composition, “advocated for sexual violence against women”.

In the music track, Ethic sing, and I quote: “Kama ana maringo, mimi hupenda chapa na tarimbo. Mimi huchapachapa na nakanyaga, namwaga bila hata permission [Contextual translation: If she is full of pride, I love reining in on her with my manhood. I usually have sex with her aggressively, and even step on her. I, thereafter, ejaculate in her against her will]”.

It was such lyrics that touched the nerve of Ezekiel Mutua, who said he had reached out to Google to bring down the music video from YouTube.

“… The crap called Tarimbo by Ethic Entertainment advocates for rape of women. Promoting violence against women is criminal… The DCI should arrest the entire bunch of musicians called Ethic, under Article 33, for going beyond the prescribed delimitations on freedom of expression by advocating for violence against women,” said Mutua in a part of his gripe posted on Facebook on Friday, November 1; exactly one day after the music video was uploaded to YouTube.

Many Facebook users — if their comments are anything to go by — seemingly agreed with Mutua.

It is such heavy backlash that prompted Ethic Entertainment to take to their official Twitter page to issue an apology over the “reckless” lyrics they used in Tarimbo.

“It has come to our attention that our latest single ‘Tarimbo’ has stirred up mixed reactions and elicited various negative interpretations from different quarters. As recording artists, it is our sole duty to entertain our fans and NOT deploy our content to propagate hate against any person, most importantly women,” they said in their Tuesday Twitter post.

“As artists, we are sons to our mothers, brothers to our sisters, uncles to our nieces and friends to our female friends and fans, and it is not in any way our intention to publicize violence or rape against these highly revered individuals in our community.

“As Ethic Entertainment, we are truly remorseful for any dolor caused by the lyrics to our single, and for every single person that was triggered to a displeasing memory or emotion by it, receive our sincere apologies. Rest assured that no disrespect was intended,” said Ethic.

Well, the apology is well-crafted, and is in crisp English, good.

However, if Ethic meant what they said in their apology, then it would be in proper taste to pull down the song from their official YouTube page. That move will indicate their seriousness in making up for the wrongs they have admitted to in their apology.

It seems they are in business, and are enjoying the chatter around the song, given it pushes its YouTube views to unprecedented levels for them. More talk, more fame; maybe, more money.

But, at what expense?

I will repeat a part of their apology that carries a lot of weight: “… For every single person that was triggered to a displeasing memory or emotion by it, receive our sincere apologies.”

The song’s continued presence on YouTube still hurts this same very group they have apologised to, and will bring fresh hurt to those who are yet to access it.

What am I saying in so many words? If Ethic meant well in their apology, then the best way to tell Kenyans ‘we are sorry’ is to pull down the song from YouTube. That move will kill the big irony their apology poses.

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