During the past year Tanzanian-born, South African poet/MC Tumi Molekane has been travelling around Africa performing festivals and shooting a documentary film with director Vincent Moloi, tracing back his childhood in exile and re-establishing musical relationships he has cultivated over his career. This expedition has come to inform his forth-coming album Rob the Church, his first since parting ways with his ground-breaking band Tumi and the Volume.
For the lead single Hello Hello Kitty, Tumi drafts in another visual creative leading light, award-winning Kenyan filmmaker and afro-futurism champion Wanuri Kahiu. Mutual admirers of each other’s work, their exchanges online eventually led to their first meeting on the video set in Nairobi. The result, Kahiu says, “pokes holes at the idea of this uber-bubble gum life we are being swept up in. Without making judgement about our observations of the world, the video attempts to complement the song that marveled at the mix of social consciousness and commercialization.”
So while sonically, Hello Hello Kitty showcases yet another new direction in Tumi’s repertoire, the compelling social commentary typical of him remains constant.
Tumi’s fans in Tanzania, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda were treated to his second performance this past weekend on Coke Studio Africa, a hugely successful music television series whose premise is to pit African artists from different countries and generations in the same collaborative space.
Peep the video for Hello Hello Kitty below