A Poet, Singer and Fighter: K'NAAN

Hello there it has been awhile since my last post (almost more than 6 months actually)
Yeap, it has been that long. 

Okay, so I'm going to share with you guys a wonderful figure. I have never really been a big fan of celebrities and all, but hey, there's nothing absolute in this world after all.


To those who have no idea who K'naan (actual name: Keinan Abdi Warsame) is, he was the dude who sang Wavin' Flag for 2010 FIFA World Cup. 

Anyway, I didn't really know much about this guy until my English teacher, Ms Charis Lo, introduced a song to the whole class 2 years ago. The song's title is, 'Take a Minute'

I LOVE the lyrics of this song. It's like a well-written poem that is simple yet has a deep message to it.


The first part of the song goes,

'And any man who knows a thing knows he knows not a damn, damn thing at all'

To me it says: Those who are wise realize that there are many things that they don't understand and can't explain. The more you know, the more you realize that there are more things you don't know. How there are killings and genocide that unfortunately still happen in our world today- and you don't know why.
Or when you start studying for a test and you realize there are more things you don't know

'How did Mandela get the will to surpass the everyday
When injustice had him caged and trapped in every way?
How did Gandhi ever withstand the hunger strikes and all?
Didn't do it to gain power or money if I recall'
Here he talked a bit about famous figures who fight for rights like Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi who have sacrificed so much. He gave rhetorical questions asking where did Mandela and Gandhi receive the will power to do what they did? What made anyone keep going strong even though he may be imprisoned for 27 years or went through a 21-day hunger strike?
'It's to give, I guess, I'll pass it on
Mother thinks it'll lift the stress of Babylon
Mother knows, my mother she suffered blows
I don't know how we survived such violent episodes'
Then he concluded that giving was the reason some people like Mandela and Gandhi could stay strong amidst everything- to give is the theme of this song. He started to talk about his mother and how she was the one who inspired him to give in the first place. K'naan was born in Mogadishu, Somalia. Yes, the same Mogadishu in Battle of Mogadishu (one of the bloodiest battle, look it up here). Somalia was torn due to an outbreak of civil war. K'naan and his family also experienced the effect of this war, and he expressed both his gratitude and confusion on how they were able to survive it all.

P.S. I don't know what this part of lyrics mean, '...stress of Babylon'. I only know that Babylon is a symbol of state and power, but I still can't find the exact purpose of it in this song. Anyone who has a clue, please comment!
'I was so worried and hurt to see you bleed
But as soon as you came out the hospital you gave me sweets
Yeah, they try to take you from me
But you still only gave 'em some prayers and sympathy'
As a child he was worried to see his mom got beaten up badly. Despite all that, his mom remained loving and caring. Gangsters or/and warlords tried to kill his mom, but still she prayed for them. Here we can see how K'naan respected his mom so much.
'Dear mama, you helped me write this
By showing me to give is priceless'
Thanks to his mom, he understands the true meaning of giving. You should totally check out the whole song. It's a beautiful story captured in a poem/song.


At first I thought it was a love song. This happened when he was still young, just 12 and a quarter years' old. He describes how he fell in love with his neighbor's daughter, her name is Fatima. They went to school together and made plan to go to New York City when they're older. He thinks that she's one of the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. They appeared to like each other too.

K'naan and his family got a visa to USA and they were planning to move out from Mogadishu. 3 days after he left, he found out that Fatima died since a gunman shot her. Civil war was ongoing in Somalia and civilians often became the victims.
'Fatima, what did the young man say
Before he stole you away on that fateful day?
Fatima, did he know your name
Or the plans we made
To go to New York City?'
This even shows how violence was so bad, people kill innocent people- even women and children. It can be so devastating how everyone can be gone in an instant.

'Is it true when they say all you need is just love?
(Is it true?)
What about those who have loved
Only to find that it's taken away? 
Damn you shooter, damn you the building
Whose walls hid the blood she was spillin'
Damn you country so good at killin'
Damn you feelin' for persevering' 

His songs are mostly depict what life is like in a war-torn country. His songs that deeply resemble poems- just... beautiful. You've got to listen to them yourself, yo!

Take a Minute


Why is he an inspiration to me? He's one of those rappers whose songs make sense and have meanings in them. I mean many singers nowadays talk only about sex, money, alcohol, drugs, party and all those stuffs. That's cool, maybe some people do enjoy them, not me though.

'She's got a big booty so I call her big booty'. We've got an einsten over here.
Ahem, anyway back to K'naan...
He wished nothing but for Somalia to be peaceful. Thanks to him, more people are aware of what's going on in our world and to have a glimpse to his life.

Doesn't it make you a tiny bit grateful, no? To think that most of us live in peace and abundance, yet we often complain about what we don't have is... kind of embarrassing. I adore those people who care about the things and lives around them. To be aware is one thing, to fight for what's right is another thing. K'naan fights for peace with his music.

Not only Somalia that's in trouble. Palestine, Syria, Occupied Territories, Indonesia, Thailand, Egypt and so many places in this world that are in trouble.

What can we do to help?


On the side note, my blog is under maintenance. I want to change its template but I still don't know what I should change it into. I want to use my own stuffs and not download it from the internet (but hey that's what i'm doing now). Please bear with it while I'm looking for a good one ey? Thanks for reading!


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