‘Pigwa Shoka’ a love song misjudged - Sheddy Empire

The crew behind the controversial song says it was taken out of context

In Summary

• Song widely construed as insensitive to Ivy Wangechi's axe killing was 'misunderstood'.

Sheddy empire crew members
Sheddy empire crew members
Image: Courtesy

Sheddy Empire crew, who sparked a storm online after releasing the song 'Pigwa Shoka', have defended the song, saying it was misinterpreted.

The song, which was posted on YouTube barely two weeks after Moi University student Ivy Wangeci was hacked to death with an axe, received heavy backlash and has since been pulled down.

"Every artiste has a different way of passing information," Mathu Cashney, the founder of Sheddy Empire, told Word Is on Monday.

"This was not a violence song but a love song, and according to us, 'pigwa shoka' means 'having sex' or 'leave them'. People understood our context in a bad way, which was not our intentions."


He said they had the idea before the death of Ivy, but the timing worked against them.

"We somehow regret because it was misunderstood. We wanted to release the song with the idea of informing the youth what is happening," Mathu said.

"The problem is it came at a time when a university student was killed. In short, our timing was bad because we had the idea two months ago."

He said the song was misinterpreted because of sheng speakers, but it means something different.

The lyrics read in part, "Kama dem huwezani naye achana naye, akileta nyef nyef pigwa shoka." 

Mathu said he has a young family and has recently lost his child during Easter Sunday. "I know the pain of losing a child. I can’t mock or abuse a parent who has lost a child. I still feel the pain," he said.

He was two days old and passed away at a local hospital after developing breathing problems.

In the video of the song, two of the artistes were carrying axes and another one a panga. However, they denied promoting violence.

"We love Kenya and we love peace. We wouldn’t promote violence," Mathu said.

He said they regret releasing the song and apologised to the public.

"We are really sorry to Ivy’s family, our friends, our fans, the entire Moi University fraternity. We really regret releasing that song. We know many are hurt and all we ask for is forgiveness," Mathu said.

"If they had listened to the whole song and the lyrics, this wouldn’t have happened. But we don’t want to justify ourselves that we did something good."