A detailed review to Lawi’s latest single “Galimoto“
One thing that we must all be ready to face in this life is the change that is happening in different spheres of life. One area that continues to change is the status of women in social economic areas.
The presentation of women in art had been bias and this gave birth to feminists movements who continue to fight for the betterment of women.
While some artists are now sensitive enough in how they present women in art, some continue to present women with demeaning stereotypes and the review argues that Lawi’s song suffers from “single story” disease in terms of presentation of women.
“When you get into music, you sing whatever is there, just to belong. But the moment you find yourself, you sing with better understanding. You start a fresh”. This is what Lebo Sekgobela, a South African gospel singer said in ‘Time out’ exclusive interview.
These words are directly comparative to Malawi’s blossoming artist Lawi. Lawi had a feeling that he can sing. He started the journey and with time he discovered himself.
Lawi is now a full-fledged artist in different genres of music. He can do music in afro like “The whistling song”, Fussion (galimoto) , Blues (Amati Andikawe), Soul (Zonena Nena) and what is termed by some as “Malawian” in different publications “Timalira”. In short, Lawi is just a sophisticated artist who does music the way it is supposed to be done in its genre.Lawi, the chap of our time.
His latest song “Galimoto” from his coming album “Thirties” is another classic tune that is icing many playlists. Its airplay speaks volumes of the creativity behind the song. Listen to it.
The song talks about Galimoto (A car). According to the song a woman is asking a man (husband) to buy her a car.
The woman claims that people mock her when she is walking on foot simply because her husband is a boss. “Nkamaenda wapasi ine/, Minga zimandibaya/, anthu akandiona ine ee/, amayamba kuseka/ , ati dona yabwana iyo/, Kubaidwa ndi minga/ Ngati makobili kulibe kwaoko/ Ndatopa ndichitonzo mundigulireko/”.
If you listen to the song without thinking you will just appreciate the musical sugar in it but if you think about its content you will realise that the song presents women poorly. The song presents the woman as a disempowered character (dependent).
While this might not be true in many cases, the song could have done better if it could have presented women with current discourse of empowerment. This song suffers from a single story disease as coined by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie a Nigerian author.
What the story presents, is what was the story long time ago. In the past, women were wholesomely dependent on men in terms of owning asserts like cars ,bank loans , etc because the system by that time oiled patriarchy. However, things have changed and women have joined the capitalist work force and now have asserts and whatever, that was termed “for men”.
According to Marxist feminists, capitalism is one of the main reasons for women’s subjugation, oppression and second class status in society. A ‘solution to the problem of women’s oppression is to urge that women fully enter the public workforce’ (Donavan 2000: 88). This is what women have done and you can cite isolated cases to vindicate this.
However, this song is giving us back this old picture which is too distorted. This song has overlooked the HD picture of women who are currently bread winners in some cases. This song is reinforcing a single story that has been said to women “dependents”.
_In her Ted Talk entitled the “Danger of a single story”, Adichie emphasises the importance of avoiding stereotypes and the necessity of multi-faceted portrayal of stories and characters in literature.
According to Adichie, “the single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story_”.
This song is at ICU suffering from this disease. It is running away from the reality of change. The artist could have done well by presenting the woman in a balanced state.
The song has presented a ‘man’ as sole provider of a woman yet this is not the case considering the changes we are seeing in this era. It is a disease that has to be cured in many artist who continue to bring us back to old pictures when we have new ones.
Just to speculate, Lawi’s music is liked by people of class. Even his shows are priced with some smart discrimination. This means people who mostly listen to Lawi’s song are people with some intellectual gradations, people who can think. These people include the women whom he has off-colourly presented.
Lawi needs to wake up from his slumber and face the reality. Things have changed and women need to be presented with empowering roles in literature. We need the other story.
Feminism is ‘a recognition and critique of male supremacy combined with efforts to change it’. Feminism is ‘critical and activist on behalf of women, seeking to produce a better world for women’ (Ritzer & Goodman 2004). Feminist theory is an outgrowth of the general movement to empower women worldwide.
It is a broad-based theoretical perspective that attempts to demonstrate the importance of women. In this capacity, We feminist will not sit and watch this presentation of women in art when efforts are being made to change this.
As Lawi is working on his album “Thirties”, he should sensor his presentation of women. When you start thinking on the song’s message you will realise that Lawi is suffering from the “single story disease” . He could have done better. We need the other story