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Nay Wa Mitego: They will have to kill me to silence me

By Sinda Matiko February 25th, 2024 2 min read

Tanzanian activist rapper Nay Wa Mitego, who has recently gained notoriety in Kenya for his hard-hitting lyrics criticising the Tanzanian government, says they will probably have to kill him to stop his crusade.

In a candid interview, Nay revealed that his family live in fear for their lives because of the kind of music he makes.

Attempts by his relatives to get him to stop making music that bashes the government have borne no fruit.

“My family is living in fear because of my music. I am quite aware of that because I am responsible for it. I know I have put them in a difficult situation, but this is the path I have chosen. I don’t see myself stopping. I can’t stop. No amount of threats from the government will silence me. They will probably have to do what they need to do to silence me for good, but as long as I have my song, I will continue to fight for the local people through my art. I’m ready for any eventuality because I know this job is not easy,” Nay affirms.

Also read: Tanzanian rapper Nay Wa Mitego clarifies controversial song dissing Kenya

During the era of President John Pombe Magufuli, Nay was arrested several times for releasing jams that attacked the late president’s government.

“The most difficult moment in my life that I had to go through was when I released ‘Alisema’. The late JPM was still alive, and his government was censoring the media from reporting on certain issues, so I sang about it. I was immediately summoned by the police, not once but twice. Basata (Arts Council) also summoned me a few times, and every time I turned up, I would find police who would arrest me, release me, and arrest me again, and that became the norm. I was denied shows, permission to organise concerts, and permission to perform outside the country. You name it. At one point, I was instructed to always run every one of my projects by a certain politician for approval before releasing it to the public.”

Last month, Nay released ‘Wapi Huko’, a record about an unknown country plagued by poor governance, corruption, hunger and lack of employment opportunities for its youth.

The majority of Kenyans on social media were quick to speculate about the country in question, with many concluding that he was singing about Kenya.

Also read: Exclusive: Gospel singer behind blasphemous song ‘Yesu Ninyandue’ speaks

Recently, Nay attended the funeral of the late Tanzanian Prime Minister Edward Lowassa. Some took the gesture to mean he was supporting the opposition, something he denies.

“I can’t be a politician because my reach is too far. Besides, if I were to choose a side, the other part of my fan base would decide not to pay attention to me even if I made sense, simply because I don’t belong to the faction they support,” he says.