In the track, “Tom Mboya,” Octopizzo honors Tom Mboya. He immortalizes the legacy of the pan-African icon assassinated by a gunman on July, 5th of 1969.

Octopizzo is one of the few rappers in Kenyan hip-hop who go beyond commercial hip-hop and dancefloor demands. He dives deep into storytelling and social commentary.

As he celebrates a historical icon, he solidifies his place as a visionary rapper in the game.

Even as Octopizzo honors Tom Mboya, it’s vital to recognize the struggle facing his legacy in Kenya. Despite Mboya’s achievements, his story is often sidelined or reduced to a Luo affair in the national narrative.

Discussing the Track “Tom Mboya” by Octopizzo

Putting politics aside, let’s dive into how Octopizzo honors Tom Mboya through his track “Tom Mboya.”

The song samples Wimbo Wa Historia,” considered one of the most vital freedom anthems from Kenya’s struggle for independence.

While the original may praise Jomo Kenyatta, its incorporation into “Tom Mboya” by Octopizzo reminds us of the icon’s impact, cut short at the tender age of 39.

As the track unfolds, it transitions into an excerpt of Malcolm X’s speech.  In the opening lines, Octopizzo honors Tom Mboya with top-tier adjectives. He raps, Tom Mboya Tom lawyer koth gowa Tom Soldier intellect smart fighter Tom scholar top scorer Tom leader Tom konya Coz this new niggaz can’t lead us,” challenging the leadership in Kenya today.

Still in this masterpiece, Octopizzo doesn’t shy away from sneak dissing Khaligraph. He spits the subliminal line, “Yes bana ambieni ule boy mi ndio African Giant Shaquille O’Neal Nigga.”

Octopizzo refers to Khaligraph’s mega hit, Yes Banawhile confirming his status as a heavyweight in the game.

As Octoipizzo continues to honor Tom Mboya, he boldly questions the collective conscience of a nation quickly forgetting its history.

Watch “Tom Mboya” by Octopizzo music video

Octopizzo’s Describes Tom Mboya’s American Ties

He reminds Kenyans of Mboya’s pivotal role in the educational airlifts, sponsored by JF Kennedy, Harry Belafonte, Sydney Poitier, and Jackie Robinson.

This historic initiative took Barrack Obama Sr. to America where fate would intertwine his path with Ann Dunham, birthing the 44th President of the United States, Barrack Obama.

Yet, amidst the clamor of empty praises for forgettable leaders, Tom Mboya’s name fades into obscurity. Octopizzo drives the point home with the line, “Ka si Tom Mboya hakungewai kua na Obama Let that sink before ni dive in.” That’s food for thought.

Octopizzo’s voice is a clarion call, reaching out to a generation perhaps too preoccupied to listen. With urgency in his tone, he summons the youth to action, declaring,  “Ka uko out sai ndio time ya ku sign in Freedom fighting.” Will you heed his call to arms? The struggle for freedom calls and the time to join the fray is now.

You then hear an excerpt from Tom Mboya’s historic speech delivered at a DC Civil Rights rally in 1959, where leaders like Martin Luther King Jr and Bayard Rustin aced the podium.

It’s worth noting that few African leaders could command such a platform at the tender age of 29. Not even the esteemed Pan-Africanist Kwame Nkrumah.

“Tom Mboya” by Octopizzo Mentions Dedan Kimathi

While Octopizzo honors Tom Mboya, he also shines a spotlight on the Mau Mau freedom fighter, Dedan Kimathi, whose struggle ended in capture and execution.

Octopizzo suggests that Kimathi was betrayed by his kinsmen. He asserts his distance because he’s never close with former friends having learned from Kimathi’s setup.

This angle sheds light on the rift with former friends, Virusi Mbaya and Kayvo Kforce.

His lyrics, “Kimathi Dedan Sita surrender Skiza agenda Rasta kwa jela Akageuziwa na maboy wake area No wonder nikichoreaga Wale mambleina,” speaks of his fear of betrayal.

Octopizzo’s Tribute to Ken Okoth

Octopizzo also pays tribute to the late Ken Okoth, whom he lauds as the best MP ever to represent the Kibra constituency.

Beyond his political achievements, Okoth’a advocacy for marijuana legalization earns him praise in the lyrical tribute.

Does Octopizzo View Winnie Mandela as a Hero?

While Octopizzo’s track pays homage to African leaders, dropping Winnie Mandela’s name stirs discomfort.

Though it’s conceivable that Octopizzo may be unaware of the darker chapters of her legacy, it’s important to acknowledge the occurrences.

Winnie Mandela’s involvement in the tragic kidnapping and subsequent killings of Seipei, Lolo Sono, Siboniso Shabalala, and Asvat who examined Seipei’s body at Winnie Mandela’s house before he was killed taints her reputation.

Therefore, while Octopizzo’s tribute is commendable in many respects, Winnie’s inclusion may not resonate with those aware of her dark actions.

Octopizzo drops a roster of notable mentions. Names like Wangari Maathai the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Milton Obote of Uganda, Julius Nyerere, and Patrice Lumumba.

Octopizzo’s Tribute to Late Father on Track “Tom Mboya”

However, the most crucial moment comes as he proudly honors the memory of his late father.

He remembers his birth and passing with the heartfelt line, “Apolo OHANGA don 63 ka hujui Onyango OHANGA born 2003 bana ban Onyango OHANGA gone.”

The deeply personal tribute continues the enduring impact of his track, Mama.” 

Octopizzo invokes the most important line in Kenya’s national anthem, “Haki iwe ngao na mlinzi.” Kenya would be far if her people held the ideals of this statement at heart.

This simple line carries the aspiration for justice and hopes of a nation striving for a brighter future.

Much love goes to the talented Mombasa-based director, King Khassidy for his visionary work on the visuals. And to the skilled producer Keith Wamz for the track.

As Octopizzo honors Tom Mboya, the track “Tom Mboya” serves as a wake-up call for reflection among Kenya’s current and future leaders.

Let’s always remember 5th July 1969  and the legacy of the ‘dead president’ forever!

RATING 3.5 Out of 5

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