Think twice about ‘swagger’


I MET some adolescents talking about ‘Swagger’. They said it was the term of the moment referring to ‘style, wisdom and grace among other attributes’. Some said, instead of saying “I am the man”, they preferred “I got swagger”. When girls are with their peers, the talk is about ‘swagger’. At various high schools where some children have lost ubuntu/hunhu, the talk is about ‘swagger’. The term has been bastardised into such words as swagalicious, etc. Patriot Arts dug deeper into the word and its origins in the Western music industry that has virtually corrupted some Zimbabwean teens. International celebrities including Jay- Z, Kanye West, T.I. and LiL Wayne have a song titled ‘Swagger Like Us’ they did some time back. The lyrics go something like this: “No one on the corner have swagger like us, swagger like us, swagger like us. “Mr West is in the building, swagger on a hundred thousand trillion. “Ayo I know I got it first. “I’m Christopher Columbus, y’all just the pilgrims.” The song was a hit, but does ‘swagger’ mean boys walking in town with their pants down to their knees and backside out? Is it spotting funky hairstyles and earrings or studs for the boys or does it imply girls walking practically naked and throwing ubuntu out of the window? ‘Swagger’, according to the Oxford Dictionary, means to ‘walk or behave arrogantly’. It is also defined as to ‘walk or behave in a conceited (egotistical, selfcentred, prideful, arrogant, narcissistic) way’. The question now is do our children really know the meaning of the word ‘swagger’? Does it really mean ‘style’ or maybe youths countrywide are riding on an unknown wave from the West propagated by the likes of Jay-Z, Beyonce, T.I and others? Maybe they must think twice before bragging of ‘swagger’ because it is something they have no idea of. – Comments on this article welcome on kteya@thepatriot.


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