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Stella Mwangi ft. Abakasimba - Chukua Hatua ·

Bottomline Kenya

Review Overview

Lyrical Content
Music Video


... comes together in a beautiful, unmistakably traditional Kenyan way.

Badili Akili; 2015

Dir. Mushking

What stands out the most about Stella Mwangi’s musical repertoire to date are the small yet significant surprises she occasionally pulls, serving as a subtle rebuttal to those that assume they can predict what her next record will sound like.

Stella’s breakout hit Take It Back and the follow-up She Got It / Kool Girls, combined with her Eve-like looks made the assumption that she was purely a rap artist who did her thing in English a very sensible one indeed. Well, her next outright hits – Biacara and Haba Haba – revealed that not only could she switch it up and drop bars in Kikuyu, but the Kenyan-Norwegian could also whip up a sweet pop song that would catapult her into the semifinals of the 2011 Eurovision Contest.

This fluidity and non-restriction to genres has contributed towards making Stella Mwangi one of the more accomplished Kenyan artistes around with at least something for everyone. It’s not every day that a Kenyan artiste gets to collaborate with the likes of Mohombi and Nitty Scott MC, or get on the soundtrack to a Hollywood film and an American TV series. Stella’s been there and got the respective T-shirts.

Her latest release is entitled Chukua Hatua which is Stella’s initiative as an ambassador of Safi International, a Norwegian organization that has introduced the Safi E-Cooker, a bio-ethanol stove to the East African market aimed at providing a cleaner, healthier, safer and environmentally friendlier alternative for low and middle income households that use firewood and charcoal as fuel for cooking.

Teaming up with Abakasimba, a collective of musicians, poets and dancers that performs with various traditional Kenyan instruments, Stella raps about self-empowerment as a first step to effecting the change we seek and a change of attitude from being to doing that can see us push away gatekeepers who want to maintain the status quo. This message is delivered alongside a delectable nyatiti-accompanied beat complete with a orutu solo somewhere in there too. It all comes together in a beautiful, unmistakably traditional Kenyan way.

The video directed by Mushking stays on the Chukua Hatua message throughout, telling a hilarious story of a girl fed-up with lighting up a charcoal jiko every day deciding to invade a cooking show in order get her one of those Safi E-Cookers. She nearly choke slams an idle, up-to-no-good boy on the way there because one should know better than to get in the way of a focused human being!


Stella Mwangi has pulled out yet another gem from her bag of surprises in this collabo with the Abakasimba Troupe. Safi International could not have chosen a better ambassador to articulate what they intend to stand for – constant re-imagination and innovation for the better.

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