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Cape Town selected by UNICEF for ‘world version’ of Imagine

CAPE TOWN/LONDON/RIO DE JANEIRO/NEW YORK, 31 December 2014 – On New Year’s Eve, John Lennon’s anthem to hope and peace, Imagine, will take centre stage in cities across the world, including Cape Town, to help inspire a global movement  towards a better future for every child.  

Live performances of Imagine at New Year’s Eve events in Cape Town, London, Rio de Janeiro and New York will highlight the urgent action needed to address key challenges facing children, including poverty, violence, the impact of climate change, and the barriers that prevent so many children from reaching their full potential.

The UNICEF-led #IMAGINE initiative is joining forces with Action/2015, a coalition of over 800 organizations from around the world, to shine a light on children’s issues in advance of key global agenda-setting meetings in 2015.  These include the Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa in July where governments and their partners will produce a strategy for financing global development, the UN General Assembly in September, when world leaders will set out new development goals for the next 15 years, and the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December.

“We must imagine a better future for every child – and commit ourselves to achieving it,” said Yoka Brandt, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director. “As the global community charts its course for 2015 and beyond, children must be at the heart of the development agenda -- for their future is the future of the world.”

Young people will perform Imagine at the events in Cape Town, London, Rio De Janeiro and New York, some accompanying themselves on a white piano, recalling the one John Lennon played in the filming of his iconic song in 1971. The events also feature the debut of a ‘World Version’ of the classic Lennon song, made in collaboration with renowned DJ and music producer David Guetta, that features famous voices including Katy Perry; Angelique Kidjo; Neymar; Daniela Mercury; Thalia; Priyanka Chopra; Yuna Kim; Adam Lambert;; Nicole Scherzinger; UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; and astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti singing from the International Space Station; alongside voices from members of the public who have uploaded their own versions through the Touchcast app.

In Cape Town, Jacheano Pietersen, 12, from Beverly Park Primary School in Eerste River, will perform Imagine on a white piano, at 11 p.m. ahead of the city’s fireworks display at the V&A Waterside.

The Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille said: “South Africa’s miracle transition is proof of what is possible when enough people believe in what can be imagined. Each child deserves to have the best possible education, and we can give them that by collectively taking action towards imagining just that.”

On 31 December 2014 on Spotify, the music streaming site, DJ and music producer David Guetta will play Imagine during his two-hour gig starting at 11:00 p.m. UNICEF is grateful to InDigital Media for their generous and creative support in shooting the ‘making of’ the #IMAGINE project in countries all over the world.

To participate in #IMAGINE:
Download the #IMAGINE TouchCast app for iOS via Apple's App Store, for Android at the Google Store or at  Record your version of Imagine; add messages describing the world you imagine for children; upload your video. For every upload, $1 is donated on your behalf by UNICEF partners to support UNICEF’s work for children around the world.  Share your recordings with friends with the hashtags #EVERYVOICECOUNTS and #IMAGINE.

The UNICEF Imagine World video, which includes notable faces from around the world singing along to John Lennon’s Imagine, can be viewed here: TK link

About action/2015

action/2015 is a coalition made up of over 800 organisations from more than 120 countries. From international organizations to grassroots coalitions, it has been formed to urge world leaders to take action on inequality, poverty and climate change in 2015 and lay the foundations for a better world. It aims to seize the opportunities of the 2015 Climate Summit in Paris and the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals process and will focus on public campaigns to ensure world leaders feel pressure to act from people all around the world. It will officially launch on 15th January with activities across the world from South Africa to Brazil and from Nigeria to Norway.

For further media enquiries about the performances, b-roll and any interview requests:

For further information on #IMAGINE, please contact:
New York:  Kate Donovan - Tel: +1 917 378 2128   e-mail:
Cape Town: Sudeshan Reddy Tel: +27 82 563 5286, Email:





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