Makmende & The New Frontier

Makmende won't be on CNN. CNN will be on Makmende.

They say a lot of truth is said in jest, and Makmende is proof of this fact. Long after the jokes about how the KRA pays him taxes and the fact that we drive on the left because he drives on the right and we were in his way, it is hard to deny that this man has hit phenom status. He is more than just a person, more than a meme, and by far superior to a mere local hero. Makmende is now a movement and a sign of the change of times.

What change, you ask?

The change we earlier alluded to. Except that last time, we were focusing on the negative aspect of this change. The shift towards socialitetis(for those with tribal hinderance, that’s pronounced “So-sho-lyt-it-is”). This is that social syndrome where people become famous for the sake of being famous. For example, Arunga will be more sought after for her notoreity than her ability. And in Makmende’s case, I know quite few people who STILL can’t remember the name of the group or the song behind his stardom. Yet I can’t think of a soul that doesn’t know him.

I also can’t think of a reason why he should be this famous.

At this point, three quarters of you are contemplating scrolling down to comment about how blasphemous I am for saying that. But bear with me.

What remarkable ability does Makmende have? Not a particularly great actor, nor is he a novel idea.

In fact, minus Kenyan bias, I favor Black Dynamite to Makmende any day of the week and twice on Sunday. I won’t even get into the part where Makmende seems like he was traced from Black Dynamite. Oh, not. I wont dwell on that. Instead, I’ll skip to the cold hard facts. See, Michael Jai White(“Black Dynamite”) actually holds 7 legitimate Black Belts. He really is a dangerous mo’ fo’. Plus, he acted as Spawn. He was in Universal Soldier. He acted as Mike Tyson. Mike “Kick your kids in the nuts so they can feel my pain” Tyson, yo. Michael Jai is a certified badass. Black Dynamite is twice that bad.

Chuck Norris, who Makmende is most compared to, is another dude who’s in his own league. Chuck has THREE 8th DEGREE BLACK BELTS, yo!!! Read that again. You know what that means? He can kick your ass in ways you wouldn’t even understand until you show up at the Pearly Gates with your left foot half way down your throat and both your hands in a Gordian knot shoved up your ass. You’ll be hopping on your right foot, pissing out your ear, wondering where your shoes went. Plus, he fought Bruce Lee. In real life(not just in the movie)!! He might as well have moonwalked over water with Michael Jackson and Jesus while he was busy building that list of “Things normal people will never do. Ever.” And he acted. A LOT. By the time the Chuck List was coming out, he had about 40 movies under his belt. 40 badass movies.

The most fictitious semblance to Makmende I guess would be Jack Bauer. But even that is a no contest. Ever heard of the Jack Bauer Kill Count? Google it. A number of people are trying to keep track of how many people Jack Kills. Of particular interest is the first 10 minutes of Season 6 when he killed someone with his teeth. HIS TEETH! To date, Jack has killed 238 people, 13 of which weren’t even during regular programming. 20 some aren’t documented because they were off-screen That’s more people than Rambo and Commando put together.

And then there’s Makmende.

At this point you should be getting a decent feel for what I mean about him cowering in comparison. So why so famous? Well, in 2 words: excellent marketing. There was a need amongst the people. A need for a Kenyan hero. An icon Someone to rally behind. So they threw him together and served him to the youth with a dope soundtrack and an infectious back story: yours. You made this man. You built the legend. This is the president you never elected, the teacher you never chose. The role model you never looked up to and the person you don’t see in the mirror. Your best friend, your lover, your whatever. YOUR Makmende.

Makmende’s a brand, a symbol. Too big to be called a marketing ploy, but not enough to count as a generational landmark. Which is why I don’t complain when I see him as a trending topic on Twitter for 4 weeks straight, but I have to raise an eyebrow when I hear CNN is doing a feature on him.

Not saying that’s a bad thing. I’m just saying….

15 thoughts on “Makmende & The New Frontier

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  2. I have a feeling David McKenzie will have the story featured on Inside Africa, not just on Back Story. Which worries me somewhat. But let’s wait and see what angle he takes :/

  3. Whats wrong with him showing up on CNN…far more mundune and annoying things wind up on cnn….like u said excellent marketing, i think thats something to note and ey maybe make a profit from hehe.

    • By the way, there’s nothing wrong. I was just trying to point out something I said earlier. To impress a Kenyan, all you need is enough voices saying “He’s the best” and very few credentials. Which is pretty much how those people in Government got there. Populism.

      As for Makmende, he’s greatly entertaining, excellent presentation, great marketing ploy, fantastic album gimmick….but I draw the line there until otherwise proven. Until I meet the guy and he impresses me beyond reason (*cough cough *) ….yeah.

      Isn’t that Dave Makenzie thing on today?

      • LOL i can assure you the guy doesnt have a black belt and wont be sending anyone to “the Pearly Gates with your left foot half way down your throat and both your hands in a Gordian knot shoved up your ass” LOL

        I would like to see 100k albums sale but ya’ll know that wont happen. Like iCon said, most people dont even remember the song or the band behind the Makmende. thing. You have to give them credit though for utilizing internet etc as a marketing tool…i just keep wondering what it will take for Kenyans to support home grown talent and drop the ridiculous love affair with anything and everything foreign

  4. Steve says:
    Hate the game, not the player …

    On the real,I’m not gonna hate the player cuz they doing what needs to be done but I’mma hate on the system being driven by mediocrity. When I first heard just a band and they song Ha-He( not a promo like CNN put it) I was actually in the audience at Goeth Institute and I was damn it,these folks are good.

    I never knew the video could bring us insults from Wall Street Journal and CNN. come to think of it,WSJ said it was the first viral video in Kenya. I asked myself,what’s a viral video?.. I let it pass cuz had I talked my shit i would be labelled a hater( They actually said that when I described what a viral video is on facebook.)

    we’ve had youtube in kenya for like a decade now and youtube is a viral video channel(atleast one features Local videos or maybe daily motion but we got Metacafe,worldstarhiphop and many others too)

    Next thing it was on local blogs and KTN and still kenyans bought into the bullshit of it being the first viral video in Kenya( remember it don’t even have 100k views on youtube)and the next thing learned folks in the name of technology penetration commentators were running their mouths with bullshit like,this Makmende thing has shown how there’s a deep level of internet penetartion in Kenya( I said I don’t have to hold a Ph.D in statistics to be given a platform by local media to talk statistic).

    so now I challenge Kenyans to convert the 30k views on youtube and shit to Album sales..I want to see them sell like 100k copies… trust me very few folks even know they gotta an album.

    *Don’t kill the messenger,just shred the letter*

    • Thank you!

      I’m a huge supporter of J.A.B. Huge!(c)Tiger Woods

      I’d definitely like to see that talent turn into success. Commercially.

      Same goes for the Makmended character. M-m-m-m-More, please. (c)Oliver Twist

      Also, Kenyans, 30k = hardly enough. No offense, but I’ve gotten more than 3 times that amount with concert footage of B-List artists in the US.

      • Is there a kenyan video with even 100k hits? Just asking
        Given the kenyans standards i bet they have done pretty well

  5. Is there a kenyan video with even 100k hits?

    @ Ali: Yep. Quite a few. Off the top of my head, there’s a nameless video or 2 with about 200k+ . Wahu and a bunch of others as well.

    Esther Arunga also clocked 50k plus per video.

    Etc etc….

    30k, unfortunately, isnt that much. It’s a good number…but we need less talking, more supporting. More people talk about Makmende than listen to Just A Band=fact. Even after the CNN report, the vid hasn’t broken 60k….which again, is Esther Arunga numbers. And you see how quickly the curtains shut on her.60k today is not a whole lot.

    Meanwhile, there’s a sneezing panda with 60million views out there…

    Just sayin…

    • iCon….

      You killed me,my ribs are hurting..but its the truth at the end of the day.

      @Ali- you need to get familiar with youtube(y’all prolly part of that group of kenyans who got exited when wall street journal said Kenyan’s get their first viral video) sorry yo that ain a subliminal i’m just saying.

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