SKC was a definition of Hip Hop

I have a colleague who loved saying SKC was Hip Hop. Not because he could rap—after all, rap is just one element of the broader Hip Hop culture, which includes breakdancing and deep knowledge, among other facets. My friend once argued that, Chilima, exemplifies Hip Hop through his profound wisdom and fearless dedication to speaking truth to power, regardless of the consequences. Even at the expense of going against the status quo that previously embraced him but failed to deliver its end of the bargain for the people. He once said, SKC was a glitch in the matrix that’s why he was despised by those who benefitted from a broken system.

Chilima in basketball action

Picking up from where my colleague left off I would also say, his outspoken character, determined to address social and political injustices, mirrors the essence of Hip-Hop culture or at least what Hip Hop ought to be—a movement that challenges self-serving establishments at the expense of the very people they pledged to uplift.


Also his creative prowess appeared effortless, devoid of gimmicks or inauthenticity. He didn’t seem to engage with the youth purely for political gain, although his genuine connection with them did earn their support. His approach was sincere—he didn’t merely show up at youth events for campaign optics but embraced a lifestyle of interacting with young people, participating in sports and various youth-related activities. He interacted with urban culture because he considered himself youthful and a part of it.


Another testament to SKC’s Hip Hop identity was his campaign rallies—or should I say concerts? Whether you loved or loathed him, he knew how to command a stage. His events featured the most elegant political branding since the advent of multiparty politics in Malawi. His attire exuded the style of a superstar, blending class, flair, and a patriotic dignity for his country. He flipped the script on how campaign rallies ought to be executed and the whole political landscape rode his wave without hesitation. He broke down barriers and revolutionised the rules of engagement. His association with Hip Hop heads like Third Eye, Rifle Dynamic, Tay Grin and several others testifies to his Hip Hop OG spirit that sought to see the youthful genre soar.


Another reason that I believe SKC was Hip Hop was how he used art to convey deeper messages to the masses and induce brainwork. At every rally he graced, he never forgot to spew a proverb or two to address the elephant in the room. One could even say he was a man of bars with his punchlines and triple entrendres when he was dropping proverbs like “Oleretsa ndeu savula shati” or “Mukaona mbuzi ikuthawa pomwe pali nsipu, dziwani kuti pali linthumbwi pamenepo.”


All in all art is the subtlest means to awaken people to realities they may have overlooked. It paints vivid images that words alone cannot, compelling the audience to dissect the meaning behind each performance or display. It would be remiss not to recognise our beloved Vice President, Dr. SK Chilima as an artist in his own right.


One doesn’t need to agree with his politics to admire his wordsmithing abilities . He was meticulous in his choice of language among several others communication through art was one of his gift of Gab. He was one of the bravest among us who attempted to dismantle an archaic oppressive system from the inside and died in service to his country. May the soul of our esteemed Hip-Hop head rest in peace.

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