It is not often that contemporary music triggers serious debate on National TV and on social media like Sauti Sol has done with their new hit Nerea. In the song, Nerea’s boyfriend pleads with her not to abort their pregnancy and promises to take care of the baby.
Besides the excellent vocal performance in the song, the lyrics cut to a debate that is always heated in Kenyan society. Is abortion right?
Those who remember the constitution making sessions at the Bomas of Kenya, will remember how polarised the debate on abortion was. During the constitution referendum, religious groups and politicians were opposed to the new Katiba because it “allowed” abortion.
Bishop Mark Kariuki explained why he took a stand against the constitution;
“When the innocent blood of babies aborted from their mother’s womb is shed they will cry against everybody who said ‘Yes’ to that draft. That’s why we are standing on that.”
To clear things up, lets first look at what the Constitution says.
The life of a person begins at conception.
Abortion is not permitted unless, in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is in danger, or if permitted by any other written law.
SautiSol made it clear that the song mirrors the society we live in and they are only relaying a message. It was important for them to do that so that the debate did not turn too personal.
— SAUTI SOL (@SautiSol) April 25, 2015
However, the message in Nerea has rubbed some people the wrong way with some saying a woman has a choice with what happens to her body, in this case pregnancy. The pro-choice seemed to have an issue with the song, especially because it seems Nerea is not allowed to decide.
#TalkingNerea When a woman decides to end pregnancy, issues of right or wrong, moral or immoral don’t matter!
— Esmael Omar (@ESMAELL) April 25, 2015
On the other side of the discussion, those against abortion chimed in with innuendos of morality and responsibility.
This song is a big jam.. listen to the music..Lets fight abortions by creating awareness on reproductive issues.#TalkingNerea
— Berverlyn Kats (@BerverlynKats) April 25, 2015
The scope of the debate widened to include reproductive health, teenage pregnancy, single mothers and contraceptives.
However, some people thought that people should just enjoy Sauti Sol’s musical prowess and not get too sucked into the debate pro-life/ pro-choice debate.
However, the complexity of this debate was captured by Clarita who said.
— Clarita (@Emm_cita) April 25, 2015
Just like the debate at Bomas and during referendum, abortion remains a hot issue that needs to be discussed a lot more openly and frequently.
Is it time we legalized abortion?