Alot has been said about the partnership and eventual rift between Mwalimu Rachel and the Gengetone group Sailors. And people are divided on either side; supporting Sailors or Mwalimu Rachel, the NRG radio presenter.
However you chop it up though, there are valid points on either side of the divide. What we should however not do is try to sanitize Mwalimu Rachel who attacked a man and attempted to castrate him by grabbing onto his testicles and squeezing them as tightly as her marriage isn’t knit.
Now that I have gotten that statement pout of my system, I can say that she is however right, in a legal sense, to have taken away the support and platforms she controlled. Those include the group’s YouTube account which she set up for them. It holds with the letter of the law but not the spirit of it but we aren’t here to debate morality.
“I did not kill their careers” Mwalimu Rachel addresses beef between her and Gengetone artists, sailors
What of Sailor’s situation to date? Well, they signed onto an international record label, Black Market Records and this is a mistake that far too many African artists make. You see, Kenya and Africa at large has a different business model for it’s music and entertainment industry.
In the west, as the singing group realised, music releases have to be timed and done so in a manner in which the record label’s marketing team deems it prudent. Whereas African flood the market with jams then go on tour, a lot of international record labels hold onto their artists material, keeping it on the shelf in fear of brand dilution.
That is why when you look across Africa, you will see that most artists such as D’Banj, Xtatic, Wizkid, Naiboi and the lot of them end up complaining about being frustrated by their record labels. Sailors could really have used a mentor but at the point at which they were signing their record label, they were going hungry and needed to secure the bag.
Ultimately, this situation described above was created by the falling out between Mwalimu Rachel and the group. Could it have been avoided? Sure, with hindsight but you also have to admit that you can see why it would probably have been in everyone’s interest to call it quits on their dalliance. Mwalimu Rachel was abusive. I do not care what you do for a person and his friends, you cannot put your hands on them to hurt them simply because they do something you deem as irresponsible. They aren’t your children, they are your business partners.
As for Sailors, they have no one to blame but themselves for the predicament they find themselves in because in truth, they could have navigated their way out of their separation a little better had they the patience to actually look through the contract they signed. Beyond that, they can rebrand and continue releasing music. Naiboi did it. He went from being Rap Damu to who he currently is. Wizkid did it. While stuck in the mire of his contract, he began releasing music as Starboy. It is a very difficult thing to do indeed but it can be done.
They could go from being Sailors to Pirates and actually continue to release music. Or if they cannot associate themselves to seamen (pause) then they can call themselves any other name and make it cool because they did so with a dumb name like Sailors.
I just hope that other young acts are watching what has unfolded and are learning from this mess. In life, while it is advisable for you to keep good relations with people, no one is irreplaceable but you will have to do more hard work to surmount certain situations you put yourself into. Is that the lesson here? Maybe. Moral of the story however is that Sailors need to stop being lazy and actually start ideating creative solutions for their conundrum. They need to detatch entirely from Mwalimu Rachel (that includes not running back to her for help) and actually seek out other mentors. Then they need to redouble their efforts on their craft and start churning out new music again.
June 30, 2022