Welcome to the swag mentality driven society. Swag is the word that is on everyone’s lips be it a fresha or a fourth year. As the online slang defines it, it is the appearance of being very cool, smooth, good looking, dressing nice and often having lots of money to flash around which draws attention from others. It’s a way of carrying yourself as a star. In simple terms it’s all about attitude, style and social status.
The question that arises for all is whether today’s generation fits this description? Peculiar things are done in the name of having swag. Comrades in the name of swag have made drinking a hobby. As they call it ‘popping bottles’. The unfortunate part is when they subject their sober counterparts to ridicule and terming them as naïve and ‘swagger less’. Is this really swag?
Others often want to show the “bad boy” image portrayed in western music. From the way they talk, walk, among other mannerisms, it clearly shows a society that is brainwashed. Words such as F*ck, sh*t, ma’f*cker, and nigga have become part of this society. I’m almost certain that Eminem, Rihanna, and Lil Wayne are household names. You’ll often find the so called celeb wannabes sagging trousers, baggy shirts for guys while female ones are worse, tight fitting clad, crazily fashioned, that always leaves them half naked; all in the name of swag.
Simply because Lil Wayne and Drake drool over the celebrity circles in sagging jeans doesn’t necessarily mean ,people will find you ‘swaggerific’ or attractive if you try it on yourself. In fact some will describe you as morally malnutritioned. So pull up your pants furthermore whatever those baggy sagged jeans are meant to hide is not pleasant for the eyes when exposed. Is it? Not everybody thinks Rihanna is a fashion guru not everybody thinks that Lady gaga is attractive in those crazy outfits. To our esteemed African ladies, what happened to our beautifully designed attires? What happened to our African sense of fashion?
Others in the name of swag will fake an American accent. It’s a common phenomenon among the youthful Kenyan generation especially ladies. You might think they are from Florida, Brooklyn, or Michigan but the truth is some have never set their feet even in Nairobi. Ngugi wa Thiongo is a respected fellow in the international literary circles, but have you heard him speak English? Yes the Limuru accent is always with him, you would have to be deaf not to notice. Now this is true swag, being original and staying true to your roots.
The social media have not been spared either by the swag mentality. From facebook, twitter, to Skype you will find updates glorifying absurdities all in the name of swag. Vulgarity is the order of the day .Fake names sounding western are common .Names starting or ending with Minaj, swaggerific, thug, weezy, lil, have dominated. I’m amazed by the creativity we Kenyans have.
A comrade was spotted calling himself “thugficientyoung lilkimzylicious” where as his real name was ‘Wangombe Gachau’ which my Kikuyu friend tells me all belong to the cow family. What is the relationship between the two? Why can’t we just stick to our good sounding African names? Do we have to glorify the western culture to be identified as having swag?
In conclusion lets all spot true original swag .It is about time we differentiated true swag from fake swag. Living in unrealistic world full of pretence will be of no good .Open your eyes and proudly identify yourself with true and original African swag.
The writer is a 1st year Journalism and Communication student