Who is Makmende Amerudi? He is a star and hero who karate chops villians, winning the eye of beautiful women and dons a 70s wide-collared shirt, bell-bottoms, and aviator sunglasses for good measure. What began as a comical video, reminiscent of blaxploitation era films has become an African viral internet sensation. Boasting over 30,000 Facebook fans, the project was conceived by Just A Band, a Kenyan experimental boy band fusing the musical elements of disco, funk and house. The video is the promo for the band’s new track, Ha-He and “Makmende” — a slang expression for machismo.
Not only is the music video a marketing tool, but the film also highlights how commonplace Internet usage in Kenya has become, as the country has the fourth highest number of Internet users in sub-Saharan Africa. Ethan Zuckerman, a blogger who focuses on technology in Africa notes how the video is an example of Kenya’s widespread Internet use:
It may not be the sort of progress that African ministers of infrastructure or information have been waiting for, but for xenophiles like me, it’s a fascinating moment.