Accepted paper:

Singing and dancing to election manifestos: campaign pledges and the development rhetoric in Kenya and Tanzania

Author:

Nicodemus Minde (United States International University)

Paper short abstract:

This article explores the interface between music and politics dramatized during election seasons in Africa. Specifically, it focusses on dramatization of election promises and pledges, through song and dance in party manifestos in Kenya and Tanzania.

Paper long abstract:

Music is a critical site for African social cultural, political and economic activity. This article explores the interface between music and politics dramatized during election seasons in Africa. Specifically, it focusses on dramatization of election promises and pledges, through song and dance in party manifestos in Kenya and Tanzania. While the political party manifestos are colored in fancy development jargon and visual representation, oftentimes this has not been translated into post-election governance and implementation. Political parties in Africa have often used music and dance as mediums of mobilization during election campaigns. Party manifestos pledges have been dramatized in music and dance in campaign rallies with party luminaries joining in the glitz. This article, through a comparative analysis between Kenyan and Tanzanian political contexts, examines the contradictions between election pledges and the development rhetoric in Kenya and Tanzania.

Keywords: campaign songs, election manifestos, election campaigns, Kenya, Tanzania

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