Monday, August 31, 2015 6:52 pm
Irish international rock star and ONE.org co-founder, Bono, was in Lagos recently to collaborate with some of Africa’s top male artistes to remix ‘Strong Girl’, a rallying cry for women’s empowerment featuring some of Africa’s top female stars. Also lending their powerful voices to this brand new version of the song that first got the world dancing in May are D’Banj, Diamond, Banky W and Femi Kuti. It will be produced by Cobhams Asuquo
Speaking about the remix at a press conference in Lagos Friday, Afro-pop star, D’Banj said they may be remixing ‘Strong Girl’ but the message stays the same. “Women and girls everywhere are held back, through lack of education and of economic opportunity. This stops them from achieving their fullest potential. It’s not right and we must change this. The first step is changing this at home in Nigeria so we can show the world we are taking women’s empowerment seriously,” D’banj said.
‘Strong Girl’ was originally written and recorded by Arielle T, Blessing, Gabriela, Judith Sephuma, Selmor Mtukudzi, Vanessa Mdee, Victoria Kimani, Waje and Yemi Alade in April, and was released on 13 May. It is part of ONE.org’s Poverty is Sexist campaign, which calls on world leaders to implement smart policies and targeted investments in the health, education and economic empowerment of women and girls can unleash their human, social, political and economic potential. The new remix will not only amplify Strong Girl’s powerful message that when you lift up girls and women you help everyone, it shows that men and women must join forces to stand with strong girls and women everywhere.
Bono, the lead singer of U2, who was in Nigeria last week for the recording and other activities of the organisation, said the strong men on the remix are backing the top female singers, or at best amplification for the Strong Girl phenomenon.
“Something extraordinary is happening right under our nose. ONE is part of a social movement that is centred around a brand new conversation between bright minds and impatient hearts North and South of the equator…ONE’s Poverty is Sexist campaign is part of that agenda. ONE has more members in Africa now than in Europe. In truth, we should have called ourselves HALF because only now are we becoming truly ONE,” Bono said at a press conference in Lagos Friday.
Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Nigeria’s leading actress and singer, added that the male artistes involved in the project are adding their voices to Strong Girl’s call for action because Poverty is Sexist, and it won’t end unless world leaders act now to help girls and women reach their full potential. “Women and girls everywhere are disadvantaged from the moment they are born. Who doesn’t want their sisters, daughters, nieces to have the same chances in life as their brothers, sons and nephews? That’s why this Strong Girl remix is so important. Our message is loud and it’s impossible to ignore, I hope that our leaders are listening,” said Omotola who also doubled as ONE ambassador.
Nigeria has been described as a key country for the campaign, with strong influence on the continent and some good examples of progress, such as the Lagos Pact to bring more women into politics.