Jaguar – Kioo

Main Switch; 2014

Dir. Enos Olik

Jaguar has been enjoying a run of a single massive hit each year for nearly half a decade now, starting with Nimetoka Mbali featuring Tanzania’s AY, Kigeugeu in 2011, Matapeli in 2012 and Kipepeo last year. It is this trend that has catapulted his profile up to the continental stage and added some extra flavour to his rags-to-riches story.

The other trend related to his recent discography is the ever increasing level of self-examination in his lyrical content. This could be linked to the fact that along with the success, there also have been less positive murmurs and allegations that attempt to link his wealth to drug trafficking. However personal his lyrical introspection is supposed to be, Jaguar ultimately packages his songs in a template that also reflects the situations, hopes and aspirations of the common man. This is  the most vital cog in his system of churning out popular tracks year in year out, never mind that they tend to sound like different parts of one song. This year’s installment is his brand new single Kioo which does not attempt to deviate from the above system. I guess it is yet another case of if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Kioo is Jaguar’s most overt response to all the hubbub surrounding the allegations that he has had a hand in the drug business.The message is pretty much the same as Nimetoka Mbali his rise has had very difficult origins full of deeply personal struggles (humble background, problems with drug addiction etc.) that his detractors cannot even begin to imagine. Once again, he has a way of personalizing his lyrics in that accommodating way that makes one feel like the song is actually a conversation with oneself and absolutely nothing to do with Jaguar. The deliciously simple chorus is the final icing on this musical cake which will no doubt be gobbled up by the masses.

Production-wise, Main Switch Studios also stick to the script and bring standard Jaguar-sounding beats to the table with very little room for adventure. However, there is some interesting guitar work and a suppressed bhangra drum beat towards the end that could’ve been used with more gusto. All in all, it still serves it purpose.

Enos Olik directs the visuals which was partly shot on location at Nairobi’s Industrial Area Remand Prison and uses actual prisoners as part of the video’s cast. It revolves around a hypothetical concept of Jaguar actually being brought in on drug charges and culminates in his eventual release after the charges are dropped. The prison scenes interchange with scenes showing Jaguar’s release back to the lavish lifestyle he is used to these days. Of course the average viewer will probably not notice the “lorem ipsum” paragraphs on the newspaper splashes, but we sure did. Ahem! Moving on…


Like every other Jaguar song of late, Kioo will get a positive reception, thanks to the one-size-fits-all packaging of his music that has no indication of failing any time soon.