Canadian Hip Hop artist Kardinal Offishall came to lend his celebrity status in Kenya recently, accompanying World Vision Canada on a humanitarian mission in Moyale and Garbatullah.
Real name Jason Harrow, Kardinal and his manager MayDay were meant to visit the Dadaab refugee camp, but since they landed on the day that two Spanish aid workers were kidnapped by suspected Al Shabaab militia, there was a quick change of plans.
Capital Lifestyle caught up with the 30+ years old rapper, whose energy and sincerity are touching, at a Nairobi hotel.
Kardinal said he was happy to be able to help out in Kenya, adding that as human beings, we have a responsibility to help each other out, as much as we can.
“Its not only about Kenya but there are many places around the world that are in need of people to pay attention and the good thing that we have is the opportunity as artists and as celebrities to bring awareness to a situation and hopefully with that awareness what comes with that is help. So I’m inspired definitely to bring the message back to my peers.”
Kardinal, who was accompanied by the World Vision Canada CEO Dave Toycen, did not just walk around and shake his head at the pain and poverty he saw. Rather, he got his hands dirty and helped a few people do their daily chores, at the same time listening to what issues the people living in those drought-prone areas were facing.
“We spend time talking about frivolous things…about a lot of excess. And when you come to places like over here we can definitely bring awareness to the rest of the world and especially in North America cause there’s a lot of people with a lot of money, time and effort that can help out,” he said.
Toycen says such celebrity muscle is vital to humanitarian work.
“In many ways they are kind of like a vicarious representative for the people who follow them that are interested in his music. And so when he’s looking at things here his supporters are kind of looking over his shoulder, to see what his reaction is going to be. So I think it’s really important,” said the CEO.
Kardinal said he is definitely coming back and maybe next time, with a few more friends.
(Pictures by Lucy Murunga of World Vision Kenya).