Women in the public space: a study of Achieng Abura's music
Ochoti, Fred O
MetadataShow full item record
This study examines women and the public space, an arena more often dominated by men in a patriarchal society. Looking at musician Achieng' Abura as a representative of women in the public space, and indeed the music community, the study demonstrates that popular music, a form of mass medium, helps women negotiate for space. Using Gramsci's concept of hegemony and counter-hegemony, and how consensus is developed in society among different social groups, it is found out that music can be used to express opinions on serious issues in society. Culture, the study finds out, is all practices of a group of people in a social context. The study, while focusing on Achieng Abura and her music, finds out that music can negotiate space for the disenfranchised. Abura's life experiences, to some extent influences her worldview and career as an accomplished Afro- fusion musician in Kenya. Indeed, semiotic analysis of her music shows that her music can aggregate and set agenda around issues of importance in the public space populated by people of disparate cultures and worldviews. Yet while this is the case, her music is also influenced by her struggle against a largely patriarchal society. Her must thus becomes an avenue to finding alternative channels of resistance to the age-old norms that seem to strangle women aspirations. In other words, Abura's music is 'emancipatory', serving to denounce cultural and patriarchal yokes of oppression, campaign for social, economic, political and cultural change and independence.