“The world has been taught to be scared of him, but the reality is that he is scared of the world because he has none of the tools necessary to cope with it.”
― Trevor Noah, Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood
Ever heard the term hip-hop hates women, ignored are the effects that music has on the men in our society. Music has sold us the ideology that emotions make us weak, that strength can only be seen through violence or control and never through openness. We chase away the reality of the pressure the media has put on our men. The pressures we as a society have put on them to fit into a box populated trends but is that the reality we want to keep introducing to the minds of the young men everywhere? A reality where they are forced to be afraid to ask for help, to speak out about what hurts them, to step out of the shame and bridge the gap between fighting to survive it all alone and surviving the world together.
The age adjusted Death Rate is 18.35 per 100,000 of population ranks; making Zimbabwe #20 in the world. The rate of suicide in Zimbabwe in recent months has been steadily going up, an increase experts say might be a reflection of economic hardships and the growing problem of domestic violence.’
While most cases of suicides among women are tied to domestic problems with infidelity being at the top, the increase in suicides men has been heightened economic strain and several other social triggers.
The increase in the number of suicides in Zimbabwe shows that economic problems affect more than people’s wallets. It is increasingly becoming an issue that is triggering a lot of psychological problems leading to violence and suicides.
Although police could not give an accurate figure on people committing suicide saying the problem was not criminal, the chief police spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said there has been an increase in the number of people who are committing suicide.
It is also estimated that 60% of the youth are on illicit drugs in Zimbabwe. The Vocie of America (VOA) Africa, in 2015 estimated the unofficial number of addicts in Zimbabwe to be between a million and 1.2 million countrywide. There are a number of reasons that are leading to an increase in the uptake of drugs among the youths. peer pressure, rigorous training and stress from high unemployment or broken families, emotional and physical abuse are some of the common drivers of drug abuse but is our music contributing to this country-wide phenomenon.
Preaching that it is cool to be black but when did the epitome of black hood and black man become drug use and abuse.
Joyner Lucas in his song, I’m not racist talks about the black man stereotype that we have all bought into. With lyrics like, ‘Screamin’ “Black Lives Matter” All the black guys rather be deadbeats than pay your bills’ and ‘You motherfuckas needa get your damn priorities straight, Wait, it’s like you’re proud to be fake. But you lazy as fuck and you’d rather sell drugs, Than get a job and be straight, and then you turn around and complain, About the poverty rate? Fuck outta my face!’
He shows a point of view that many of us are afraid to own up to or admit to ourselves for we have grown comfortable in our plight, comfortable in an image that was never our own.
Karma in the Htown-blues cypher ft Terry Shan and Griffin talks about being the dreamers, the underachievers and talks about the hate breed the media with lyrics like, ‘while we over here thinking they hate us, they over thinking that we hate them’ whilst Terry Shan talks about emotional madness being his gateway drug and Griffin rapping in his native tongue talks about everytime that we build there will always be people who will come to destroy.
This song speaks of our struggle but how long will we let our image be tarnished and controlled messages that are only seeking to destroy us.
The above research only just hints at the growing problem that these social issues present to our country and the generation that is fighting to prevail despite them and changes have to be made. It is time that we stop standing silent and we take a step forward providing the people with a voice and proving to the country and the world that we are more than just a generation of thugs.
If you missed the voices behind music part 1 find it here
The voices behind music part 2
What are some of the other songs that you know that speak of this struggle?
And what’s your take on the new generation, struggling or lazy? And what do you think can be done to build our nation and make the dream a reality?
Send your music links via email if you believe that you have a unique voice that deserves to be heard and stand a chance to be featured: firstname.lastname@example.org