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Top artistes converge in Nairobi for common good

By | October 16th 2009

By Nicholas Asego

They have been known for their expensive lifestyle and extravagant taste. Many of them live hard and drink even harder and engage in other excesses.

Yet once in a while musicians or celebs in the entertainment parlance have often responded to the plight of the communities. At such times they form a powerful voice that cannot be easily ignored.

Many will recall the 1985, We Are The World single which was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and recorded by the super group USA for Africa to help fight famine in Africa.

With an estimated over six billion people in the world with majority of them from Africa staring starvation, the situation is alarming. A recent survey by the Global Hunger Index ranks Kenya with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Sierra Leone, Chad and Ethiopia as the most threatened nations.


This time around over 30 musicians from over ten African countries have answered the call and will gather in Nairobi this weekend in a concert to help feed the hungry. The concert dubbed Free the Hungry, Stand Up and Take Action, which will be at the Bomas of Kenya offers a ray of hope to many. It is part of the global anti-poverty activities on the occasion of the UN designated day for the International Day for the eradication of poverty.

Leading African musicians expected includes Zimbabwean legendary troubadour Oliver Mtukudzi, the guitarist, vocalist, performer and composer.

Another musician expected to perform the same evening is Didi Awadi and Carlou D both from Senegal. Kenyan-based Burundian Kidum whose penchant for peace concerts is well known will also headline the event. South Africa will be represented by Ntsiki Mazwai, a poet, a women’s rights activist and powerful musician with an enviable stage presence. The self-proclaimed daughter of the soil will without doubt use her weapon (her voice) to touch the hearts of many.

East Africa will be well represented by Tanzanian’s hip-hop artiste Professor Jay (Joseph Haule). Others are Kenyans artistes Suzanna Owiyo, Wahu, Neema and Nameless, whose song Sunshine won in the Listeners Choice Category in the recently concluded MAMA Awards.

The artistes will launch a CD titled Music For Freedom and Justice as a tribute to the millions of poor and hungry people whose basic right to food and freedom from hunger is daily threatened by gender violence, conflict and greed.

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