Kardinal, aka Jason Harrow, will be the latest in a string of high-profile celebrities to visit the Dadaab refugee camp, where a humanitarian catastrophe is displayed in a massive influx of refugees fleeing war, hunger and malnutrition in Somalia.
The horn of Africa and especially Somalia is struggling to recover from one of the worst droughts in nearly half a century, where millions are at risk of starvation, with women and children most at risk.
Kardinal, who has expressed his eagerness to help children, says his visit will be to witness the need in the camps before using his massive influence to impress upon Canadians to lend a helping hand.
“I feel the trip to Kenya is important to me is in so many ways. I want to make a difference,” he says.
Kardinal is internationally acclaimed, having worked with artists like Keri Hilson, Sean Paul, Rihanna and Akon, with whom he sang the popular track Dangerous.
The 35-year-old musician/record producer will head back to Canada on the weekend, but with the several concerts taking place over the weekend such as the Lounge Unplugged with Vivian Green, he just might get a chance to sample the Nairobi night-life.
The closest Kardinal has ever been to Kenya is when he witnessed an impromptu performance by the Kenya Boys Choir outside a Me to We store in Toronto last month.
Kardinal, the Kenya Boys Choir and several other artists were involved in the recent We Day celebrations, where his compatriot Nelly Furtado announced a $1 million donation to a school in Maasai Mara, Kenya.
His visit and subsequent plea will support efforts by the likes of Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johansson, Youssou N’Dour, and others who have visited the camp recently in different capacities.
Kardinal who has been in the music industry since 1997 is married and lives in Toronto.
World Vision, which is also working across famine declared areas in Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Tanzania, will be showing Kardinal how long term Canadian funded projects are making a difference just 2 hours from the famine zone, helping nomadic farmers resist drought, through sustainable planting methods, and children are going back to school.
“Famine is ugly. If Kardinal is going to make some noise about the famine, that ultimately helps us save the lives of children and families,” says David Toycen, President and CEO of World Vision Canada, who will be accompanying Kardinal on the trip.