A selection of some of the most beautiful female voices of Africa was recently in Johannesburg, South Africa, to record a song calling for world leaders to put women empowerment at the heart of the new development goals, in order to put the world on track to end extreme poverty. The young divas participated in the audio session and the video shootwhich took place from April 27 to May 1, 2015.
The song is part of the “Poverty is Sexist” campaign launched by ONE and will feature seven musicians from seven countries, namelyJudith Sephuma (South Africa), Victoria Kimani (Kenya), Vanessa MDEE (Tanzania), Waje (Nigeria), Arielle T (Gabon), Selmor Mtukudzi(Zimbabwe) and Gabriela (Mozambique). The ladies will be joined in the video by Nollywood actress Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde and South African TV personality Stoan Seete.
The song was produced by Cobhams Asuquo (who has worked with the likes of Asa, Chidinma, and Banky W to name a few). The video was directed by Godfather Productions, who has produced and directed some of Africa’s biggest music videos.
“We believe that we can’t fight the injustice that is extreme poverty without fighting the immense gender inequality that persists around the world. Therefore, through this song, ONE is calling for smart policies and targeted investments in health, education and the economic empowerment of women and girls for them to unleash their human, social, political and economic potential,” Dr. Sipho Moyo, ONE Africa’s Executive Director said.
Arielle T said she was happy to be in South Africa. “In Gabon like in many parts of Africa, girls and women are hit hardest by extreme poverty across every area of life. When the call from ONE came to join other female musicians on this project, I was honored and delighted. If the situation of women is to improve, then it has to start with us as women. We have to come together. We need equal opportunities so that we can play our part in reducing poverty in the world.”
The Gabonese singer was the only artist from Central and francophone Africa chosen to participate in this project.
Speaking about her new role as ambassador for the campaign, Omotola said, “I am fortunate to be a young woman living her dreams, a trailblazer of my generation. But I also recognize that many women and girls are not so fortunate. Women and girls are disproportionately affected by the injustice of poverty and inequality. But when we invest in women and girls, we increase and accelerate the chances of overcoming extreme poverty.”
ONE does it again in this new collaboration, which comes a year after the release of the famous hit 'Cocoa na Chocolate' that featured artists such as D'Banj, Fally Ipupa, Wax Dey, Tiken Jah Fakolly among others, and which won an AFRIMA award in December 2014.
The song will be used to promote the "Poverty is Sexist” campaign across the world and will be officially launched in Zimbabwe, Nigeria,Mozambique and South Africa during the World Economic Forum on Africa and the African Union Heads of State Summit in June 2015.
On March 8 (International Women’s Day), Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Angélique Kidjo and businesswomen and artists from countries around the world wrote an open letter titled “Poverty is Sexist” to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and African Union Commission Chairperson Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, asking them not to forget the women who live in poverty.
“Poverty is sexist, and we won’t end it unless we face up to the fact that girls and women get a raw deal, and until leaders and citizens around the world work together for real change. Because when we deliver for girls and women, we deliver for everyone… If we get this right, we could help lift every girl and woman out of poverty by 2030…” the letter said.
The campaign has a petition which is calling on world leaders to fast-track the fight against inequality and injustice by investing more in women and girls if the world is to end extreme poverty by 2030. Over 100,000 people have signed it already.
ONE is a campaigning and advocacy organization of more than 6 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Not politically partisan, we raise public awareness and press political leaders to combat AIDS and preventable diseases, increase investments in agriculture and nutrition, and demand greater transparency in poverty-fighting programmes. ONE is not a grant-making organization and does not solicit funding from the public or receive government funding. ONE is funded almost entirely by foundations, individual philanthropists and corporations. We achieve change through advocacy – our teams in Washington, D.C., New York, London, Johannesburg, Brussels, Berlin and Paris educate and lobby governments to shape policy solutions that save and improve millions of lives.
Twitter: @ONEcampaign / @ONEinAfrica