Two days ago Kenyan artist Taio took to his Instagram to share ‘Naix3’, a song spurred by the untimely loss of two friends due to suicide, and a close call with a third. Featuring fellow Nairobi artists Kerby and Kahvinya, both of whom are regular advocators for the importance of health and wellness, ‘Naix3’ is a raw, urgent and heartfelt call to the youth of Nairobi to stand together in love and unity.
Kerby reminds us that “Nairobi is a beautiful city in a rich land filled with traumatized people”. Mental health issues remain amongst the most stigmatized and ignored across Africa. Looking at Kenya specifically, and according to a Nation Newsplex investigation, one in four Kenyans is likely to suffer from a mental health issue whilst 5 out of 6 individuals suffering from mental illness don’t receive treatment. Suicide is now the second highest cause of death amongst the youth. We currently live in a society that would rather tell you to drink your problems away than take the time to truly listen and provide you with the resources to find healing. However, Naix3 reminds us that not all hope is lost, we can be each others saviours through loving and caring for each other
I highly recommend listening to, and sharing this track. As someone who’s fought my own battles with mental health and experienced moments of feeling desperately alone, it’s beautiful to see artists who are in influential positions allowing themselves to be vulnerable in an effort to raise awareness and ultimately help heal others.
So here’s a PSA: Check on your friends and family. Be kind. Spread love. And most importantly, you are not alone.