Appropriation Of Kipsigis Idiom In Selected Gospel Songs Of Joel Arap Kimetto

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Culture is the central factor in life of societies. One way through which culture is preserved and disseminated for posterity is through music. While it may be argued that music in general plays this critical role, gospel music in Africa was designed to promulgate western culture through the church. This created tensions between the two cultures and the African converts faced a crisis of identity.  This study has examined this constellation in a critical appraisal of Joel arap Kimetto’s gospel songs whose music borrows Kipsigis idioms that were central in the community’s cultural practices.  In this study, I have focused my inquiry on the nature and functions of Kipsigis traditional idiom in the contemporary gospel music and how the artist’s strategy of appropriating the idiom diffuses tensions between the Kipsigis culture and Christianity. From the observations obtained from the two scenarios, I have reflected on the intersection of the two cultures and evaluated the apparent harmony and tension of the traditional idiom appropriated to a Christian space. I have analyzed 21 of his popular songs that exhibit these characteristics and concluded that Kimetto utilizes the new Christian space to propagate both Christian and non-Christian agenda.

Author: 
Cheruiyot John Korir
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