Music and film to change the Kenyan mind-set


December 2, 2010 – “I feel the worst people on earth are not the victims or those who bring war, but those who watch and do nothing, and bury their heads in the sand.”

I didn’t say that; it was Emmanuel Jal – celebrated Sudanese rapper and founder of Gatwitch Records – who did. And that is the basis of a three-day event he has planned here in Nairobi.

They will be three days of music, poetry and film screenings at Silverbird Westgate and Makini School, intended to change the mind-set of Kenyan youth.

“We need Africans to build Africa,” says Jal, who announced that leaders from all spheres will give talks during the event.

“Among them is Juliani, a talented musician. Designer Jeffrey Kimathi is also there, and so is Ishmael Bech; he is the author of bestseller A Long Way Gone.”

There will be a two-day interactive conference at Westgate on Thursday and Friday before a day-long music concert is held at Makini School on Saturday from about 10am to 6pm, and kids are allowed.

According to a statement issued by the record label, some of the artists who will be on stage are Daddy Owen, Atemi Oyungu, Juliani, Harry Kimani, Abbi, Mutinda, Winyo, Dan Chizi and Nina Ogot.

The main attraction will be Jal himself, who will perform his new single and now global anthem “We Want Peace”.

“I recorded the video recently here in Nairobi. It will be released on December 13,” announced Jal.

Kimathi said the festival will be a perfect avenue for youth to learn how to empower themselves.

“We will be talking about bringing Africa together and also about what direction our youth should take,” stressed the designer of Jamhuri Wear.

Bech, who from Sierra Leone, was of the opinion that young Africans should be encouraged to tell their own stories.

Iara Lee, creator of the one of the films that will be shown at the Westgate said there was also need to promote global solidarity in resolving the world’s issues.

Her film, Cultures of Resistance, will be screened alongside Togetherness Supreme and Warchild.

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