Deictic Strategies in KamaNu and Karimi's Kimeru Song and Dance Lyrics


  • Kinya M'Rithara Laikipia University
  • Eliud Kiruji Kirigia Laikipia University
  • Evelyn Mahero Ondisa Laikipia University



Diectic strategy, Song and dance lyrics, Kimeru, Pragmatics, Discourse


Purpose: This paper examined the deictic strategies in the Kimeru song and dance lyrics by KamaNu and Karimi by assessing how the deictic properties of these song and dance lyrics express the main issues. The study utilized the aspects of Van Dijk's (2008) ideological square as a component of his socio-cognitive approach to critical discourse analysis (CDA).

Methodology: The study adopted a qualitative approach using descriptive research design in particular a case study.  Research was carried out in Meru and Nairobi counties in Kenya. The target population consisted of native Meru artists and their fans. Two native Meru artists, a male and a female, namely: KamaNu and Karimi were purposively sampled as a corporate item. Twelve songs six from each of the artists were picked on popularity basis and that they had a traditional tinge and contained deictic content that were relevant to the study. Data was collected through six video recordings, semi-structured interviews and note taking of the actual live performances in social functions; three for each artist to enable the researcher get verbatim data and songs without any alterations, as well as save time.

Findings: The study established that Kimeru song and dance lyrics by KamaNu and Karimi, through polarization of Us and Them, employ a cocktail of both simple and complex strategies to cater for people of all ages for purposes of understanding the intended meaning, while saving one's face and as such smoothly transmits the societal ideals.

Unique contribution to theory, policy and practice: The study recommends that listeners pay more attention to these diectic strategies for an appropriate interpretation of the intended meaning as they enable the speaker identify with the situation making listeners incline towards the music since it elevates the speaker on a pedestal of the informer and all knowing (Atoh, 2017). Secondly, the audience should discern the meaning of these expressions in accordance to the context under which they are used. There is therefore need for the policy makers to incorporate song and dance lyrics in the school curriculum as a technique of language teaching as well as preserve our cultural heritage through documentation for posterity


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Author Biographies

Kinya M'Rithara, Laikipia University

Department of Literary Studies and Communication

Eliud Kiruji Kirigia, Laikipia University

Department of Literary Studies and Communication

Evelyn Mahero Ondisa, Laikipia University

Department of Literary Studies and Communication


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How to Cite

M'Rithara, K., Kirigia, E. K., & Ondisa, E. M. . (2023). Deictic Strategies in KamaNu and Karimi’s Kimeru Song and Dance Lyrics. Journal of Communication, 4(1), 16–30.