Review: Mukadata by Andy Bumuntu

By Portia Uwase February 6, 2017
Track: Mukadata
Artist: Andy Bumuntu
Year: 2017

“Ariko icyo nisabira n’ agahenge kizo nkoni”
“N’agatonyanga k’urukundo”

One of the perks of growing up with my grandmother is that she told me stories. LOTS OF THEM. Most of the stories she told me had evil stepmothers who beat their stepchildren mercilessly, starved them, and even attempted to kill them. While I was listening to Andy Bumuntu’s new song “Mukadata” which is the Kinyarwanda equivalent of “stepmother,” I was transported back to those good old days. Days of rushing home from school, doing my homework hurriedly, and curling on my grandmother’s bed to listen to more evil stepmom stories. Despite being a trigger of reminiscing some of my most cherished childhood memories, “Mukadata” is also an amazing song that I listen to, perhaps, only 20 times a day. “Mukadata” can be best described as an imploration from a child to an unfair stepmother requesting her to give him a drop of love, and a break from all the beating. This is emphasized in the chorus:

“Ariko icyo nisabira n’ agahenge kizo nkoni”
“N’agatonyanga k’urukundo”

Andy Bumuntu is only two songs old, and already he is one of the best vocalists out there in my opinion. Even more impressive is his songwriting abilities, because there is no ounce of redundancy in either “Ndashaje” or “Mukadata”. I like to think that Andy’s lyrics in “Mukadata” are like a huge card house that would crumble if one card was removed. That is how much each lyric makes such a powerful and important contribution to the whole song. Perhaps the most powerful line in “Mukadata” in my opinion is “Nzigishwa nande ubumuntu?” Here, the child is asking who will teach him humanity. He is wondering how he can become a good human being when all he has known is animosity and hate. Author Cecilia Ahern emphasizes this point in her book “Love, Rosie”: “Parents are barometers of emotion for children and it has a domino effect”. I interpreted this as Andy Bumuntu’s way of gently reminding parents and guardians that they have the most important role to play in who their children will be as adults. Moreover, Andy Bumuntu reminds us that part of our responsibility in all the aspects of being human is to give as well as receive. He demonstrates this where he says he can’t be a son to his stepmother if he is always crying and hurting, in the following lines:

“Oya sinakubera umwana, sinakubera imfura”
“Mugihe mfite umutima udiha n’ amarira ashoka buri mwanya.

To conclude, “Mukadata is a beautiful song with great vocals, a relevant social message, and a wonderful beat that was achieved through the use of an acoustic guitar, electric guitar, saxophone and drums. I truly can’t wait to hear more songs from Andy Bumuntu, because he is not only very talented, but his narrative in the songs closely resembles that of my grandmother’s stories and the Inkinamico ( Kinyarwanda recorded plays) I listen to everyday.

Portia Uwase
Portia's intellectual interests include Economics and photography. She enjoys reading, dancing and taking photographs.