On Friday night, radio presenters Anto Neosoul and Angela Muriuki told Larry Madowo that Vera Sidika doesn’t have the obligation of “raising your kids”. 

This was in response to Vera claiming she is “noone’s role model”. 

Well, gospel singer, Richard ‘Astar’ Njau disagrees. 

He took to his Facebook and wrote a long note on why Vera, Anto Neosoul and Angela are dead wrong. 

He wrote, “Guess what time it is… #‎RealTalk‬!! So a few days ago I heard an influential person in the media and entertainment industry point out that it isn’t the responsibilities of artists and other public figures to raise your kids. That’s the job of the parents. So now I’ve been pondering over that statement for the past few days and thought I’d dish out MY 2 sense/cents  #‎CTA101‬

Firstly YES it is the responsibility of parents to raise their kids. That’s a given. There’s a responsibility and sacrifice that comes with having/raising kids!! Salutations to all parents out there… To the single mums… I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again y’all are ninjas!! I have no idea how you do it. I’m not a parent and with good reason… I ain’t ready for that kind of responsibility… bado sijafika bado bado sijafika  In fact just yesterday I was watching Oprah and she said the reason she decided not to have kids is coz she wasn’t willing to make the sacrifice of raising a child over her career. Opps… did I say I was watching Oprah… I meant Rambo… anywayyyyy…

Now with that said I’ll shift over to the “public figures” and I’m predominately talking about those in my sector of society i.e. The Media and Entertainment Industry. The whole reason I bother to write these long status updates is coz I’ve realized that there’s a whole new generation of artists without guidance operating on talent and trial & error. They are desperately looking for mentors and guidance. I was fortunate to have and still have older more experience people I can call on for advice, etc…. this new generation are operating man/woman solo!! 

Influentials in the media and entertainment industry are extremely powerful peeps. So powerful that they shape how kids talk, dance, dress, they “inception” ideas and thoughts into minds… they are a powerful bunch…so powerful that I don’t call them celebs or artists but rather “CSI” (Culture Shaping Icons)… and this group of people goes beyond musicians… I’m talking about influentials within the media and entertainment industry e.g. bloggers, music producers, video producers, MCs, Dj’s etc… 

Dear CSI’s, the famous Spiderman saying is true, “with great power comes great responsibility”. So here are 2/3 pointers I have for you…

(1) First things first… recognize and understand the platform that you have. That’s one powerful platform… have it be a blog, a mic, a DJ turntable, a newspaper, a status, a tweet… recognize… or to pull an Atwoli “reco-co-gnize” and understand YOUR platform. It may be to 5 people, it may be to 5 Million people. What you have is a DISTRIBUTION PLATFORM FOR INFLUENCE!! So understand your scope of influence… understand your audience… I DJ to 300 people a night… I have 1,000 people checking my blog every day… my songs are listened to by youth aged 19-25 from Eastlands… 

(2) Package your message… I’ve said this a couple of times and I’ll continue to say it… Media and Entertainment is the most powerful tool for positive influence. Even more powerful that politics. Why do you think politicians call musicians for rallies… or why did Uhuru “amend” the media bill?? (that’s a #RealTalk for another day). Media and Entertainment is like the arrow head of a spear… it penetrates hearts with ease, we package “agendas” as dish them out on beats with tight hooks, we illustrate and take pics that speak words without opening mouths…we “toi toi” and unite people in dance… media and entertainment is POWERFUL!!! 

So the question is not whether or not we are gonna raise kids… the question rather is in WHICH direction are YOU gonna direct the kids!! As soon as you enter into this media and entertainment industry you are signing a contract with The Giver of your talent to accept to raise and lead people!! The moment you pick up a mic and you have peoples ears… the choice YOU have to make is what to say and which direction to take people… the moment you write a story… the moment you press play on a DJ deck… you control the direction of the flow… the decision is up to you…BUT KNOW THIS… one day you will be accountable for that decision… *insert scary drum-roll music* 

(3) I don’t think there’s anything more fulfilling than knowing that because of you someone’s life was affected/ influence/ changed for the better. Because you played a song, rapped a verse, read a story, tweet, status, etc… that because you were ALIVE someone else was inspired, uplifted, laughed, danced… positively influenced!! And because we in the media and entertainment biz know this, we should then CONSCIOUSLY think about the consumer of our art at ALL times… have it be in creating, distribution or promoting our product. Why? Because we have the power to influence a life… and in this time of fear, hopelessness, death, sadness, poverty, distress and all manner of pain… what a privilege it is to be used as a vessel to positively influence… *insert sweet sounding background strings*  

Ok I’ll stop reminiscing on my status and leave you with this quote by Hubert Selby Jr. “Eventually we all have to accept full and total responsibility for our actions, everything we have done, and have not done.””