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Reuben Kigame analyses Juliani’s music in his new book

Renowned Kenyan musician and scholar Reuben Kigame has unveiled his latest literary work, a book titled Essays in African Christianity and Theology.

What makes the publication unique is the inclusion of the lyrical work of contemporary rapper, Juliani.

Juliani expressed his excitement, describing it as a great honour.

“I’ve gotten my flowers many times before. But this one! Means a lot! Reuben Kigame, veteran musician, presidential candidate and scholar is studying my music and its influence for his dissertation,” Juliani remarked.

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“He (Kigame) is the fourth person I know who has done this. I love his passion for the country, youth and social justice. This is truly an honour,” the artiste said.

It’s not the first time Juliani’s life and career have been explored in literature.

In the book The Street is My Pulpit: Hip Hop and Christianity in Kenya, Mwenda Ntarangwi delves into Juliani’s unique blend of faith and music, portraying him as a powerful voice in the Kenyan hip hop scene.

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According to the book’s description on Amazon, Mwenda explores the intersection of Christianity and hip hop through Juliani’s artistry, highlighting the tensions and synergies between the two. Juliani’s music serves as a platform for addressing spiritual, social and cultural issues that resonate deeply with Kenya’s youth culture.

In describing his approach to the book, Mwenda pointed out the importance of understanding the expressive and communal aspects of both Christianity and hip hop.

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He sees these seemingly disparate genres as linked by their focus on individual expression within a collective context, providing insights into contemporary Kenyan society and youth culture.

Mwenda is an associate professor of anthropology at Calvin College.

Juliani began his career as a member of the Ukoo Flani Mau Mau group before undergoing a significant personal transformation in 2005 when he embraced a new path.

Since then, he has distinguished himself in the music scene with popular tracks such as Utawala, Masterpiece, and One Day, among many other hits.