Unleashing Empowerment or Objectification? A Critical Look at Rayvanny ft Vanessa Mdee’s ‘Twerk’ Lyrics

Unleashing Empowerment or Objectification? A Critical Look at Rayvanny ft Vanessa Mdee’s ‘Twerk’ Lyrics


In recent years, the debate surrounding the objectification of women in popular music has become increasingly prevalent. One song that has stirred controversy is Rayvanny and Vanessa Mdee’s ‘Twerk.’ While some argue that the lyrics and accompanying music video serve as empowering expressions of sexuality, others argue that they perpetuate harmful stereotypes and further objectify women. This article aims to offer a critical examination of the lyrics of ‘Twerk,’ exploring the potential for both empowerment and objectification within its messaging.

Lyrics Analysis

The lyrics of ‘Twerk’ are explicit and focus predominantly on the female body and its sexual appeal. The chorus repeats the demand to “twerk,” with lyrics such as “Pigilia hadi tabia tuishie kwa kichwa, karibu club unavyonipaka uchizi mwili kama bidhaa” translating to “Shake it till we lose control, in the club, going crazy like a commodity.” These lyrics suggest a heavy emphasis on the approval and attention that come from objectifying and commodifying the female body.

This focus on the female body as a product for male consumption is further exemplified in verses such as “Badala kutengeneza stori za mapenzi tunavuta tu cigarette” meaning “Instead of engaging in meaningful conversations, we just smoke cigarettes.” These lyrics reduce women to mere objects of physical pleasure rather than individuals with thoughts, feelings, and aspirations. By emphasizing the sexual element, ‘Twerk’ perpetuates a narrative that values women solely for their physical appearance and ability to entertain men.

Female Empowerment or Objectification?

Critics of ‘Twerk’ argue that the song objectifies women, promoting the idea that female empowerment equates to overt sexualization. This perspective suggests that true empowerment lies in the ability to control and own one’s sexuality without being reduced to a mere object.

On the other hand, proponents argue that ‘Twerk’ can be viewed as empowering due to the agency it gives to women to assert and celebrate their sexuality freely. They argue that women should not be judged for expressing themselves in a sexually liberated manner if it is their conscious choice. This interpretation suggests that the song provides a platform for women to embrace their sensuality without shame, taking possession of their bodies and reclaiming their sexuality.

Intersectionality and Cultural Relevance

To gain a comprehensive understanding of the potential impact of ‘Twerk,’ it is essential to consider the cultural context surrounding it. Rayvanny and Vanessa Mdee are prominent artists within the East African music scene, with their music reaching a vast audience. Tanzania, where both artists hail from, has a rich cultural heritage and values steeped in respect and modesty. Against this backdrop, ‘Twerk’ becomes an intriguing case that necessitates a closer examination of how it reflects or challenges cultural norms.

Critics argue that ‘Twerk’ perpetuates Westernized ideals of female empowerment that do not align with the cultural values of many East African societies. The emphasis on overt sexuality and objectification may clash with traditional ideas of modesty and respect. In this context, the song may be interpreted as imposing Western notions of empowerment, alienating and erasing culturally rooted values.


Rayvanny ft Vanessa Mdee’s ‘Twerk’ lyrics provide a platform for a nuanced discussion surrounding the potential for both empowerment and objectification within popular music. While some argue that the song allows women to assert their sexuality and take ownership of their bodies, others maintain that it perpetuates harmful stereotypes and objectifies women. This critical examination highlights the importance of contextual understanding, as the impact and interpretation of ‘Twerk’ may vary across cultural and individual perspectives. Ultimately, the debate surrounding the song raises deeper questions about the nature of female empowerment and the responsibility artists have in shaping societal ideals.