Ethiopia

Celebrating Bob Marley’s vision, Angelique Kidjo to sing at ‘Africa Unite’

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© UNICEF/HQ 03-0135/Markisz
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angelique Kidjo will sing at ‘Africa Unite’.
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, 31 January 2005 - UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and West African singer Angelique Kidjo is in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for a month-long celebration called ‘Africa Unite’.

With a combination of entertainment and education over the next four weeks, the organizers hope to heighten international awareness about the disparity in education, health care, and the suffering of women and children of African descent across the world.

The event has been labelled ‘Africa Unite’ in celebration of reggae legend Bob Marley’s vision for African people.

To mark the 60th anniversary of the superstar’s birth, around 10,000 people are expected to descend on Meskel Square in Addis Ababa this weekend for a 10-hour concert featuring artists from Africa and the rest of the world.

Kidjo describes the music of Bob Marley as powerful on many levels, and credits Marley with having opened her eyes to global issues. “Being born in an African city, it was difficult for me to have a clear understanding of the entire world. Bob Marley, with lyrics that everyone can understand, gives you many tales of injustice, discrimination and slavery. Of equal importance were Bob Marley’s melodies, harmonies and arrangements. His songs were masterpieces. Every song has a little something that makes it unique.”

Africa Unite was created by the Bob Marley Foundation and the Rita Marley Foundation, with support from UNICEF and partners. These Foundations provide assistance to organizations aimed at relieving poverty and suffering of babies, children and the elderly.

Drawing inspiration from the universality of Bob Marley’s lyrics, a three-day symposium will explore solutions to the devastating problems of HIV/AIDS, environmental degradation and gender discrimination.  The panel will also discuss peace issues.

Says Kidjo, “The Africa Unite Symposium is a good vehicle for us to draw attention to the problems of Africa, to the issues relating to the youth and women of Africa, and also to the diaspora, the link between the continent and its people all over the world.”

On Friday 4 February, Kidjo will perform at a UNICEF benefit concert for the Bob Marley Youth Development Centre. She will also perform on Sunday 6 February at the Africa Unite concert at Meskel Square.

 

 

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