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If I could hang, draw and quarter a song, I would do it to this one.

If I could tie a 50 pound weight around a song and drop it off into the murkiest, most sewage-laden depths of the Indian Ocean, it would be this one.

If I could put a song through a shredder, and put the shreddings through a meat grinder, and put the paste through a blender, and put the result in an incinerator, I would do it, three times over, to Hakuna Matata .

Every gifted African musician who's ever been forced to churn out this festering putrefaction of a lyric, to a bunch of grinning tourists, on a hotel terrace, deserves compensation for psychological damage.

Everyone who's ever lived the reality, the complexity, the day-to-day humanity of East Africa, as opposed to the tourist hotel fantasy package, and then had the tinny simplistic sugary crap of Hakuna Matata forced on their eardrums, deserves a free detox treatment at the spas of the same hotels.

Shailja Patel is currently performing at the Zanzibar International Film Festival. She is suffering an acute case of Hakuna Matata - overload. Visit her at

Zanzibar International Film Festival: July 14-23
ABN-America TV, Talking Drum Current Affairs Show, July 20th, 8pm, CST
Dish Network Channel 749, Super Dish required