African divas unite for ‘Strong Girl’

Nine singers from around the continent and popular Nigerian actress Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde have released a song for worldwide female empowerment, called 'Strong Girl', in collaboration with the One campaign.

Vanessa Mdee, Victoria Kimani, Waje and Judith Sephuma
Vanessa Mdee, Victoria Kimani, Waje and Judith Sephuma

Alongside the Nigerian trio of Waje, Yemi Alade and Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde are Kenya’s Victoria Kimani, Tanzania’s Vanessa Mdee, Gabon’s Arielle T, Mozambique’s Gabriela, Zimbabwe’s Selmor Mtukudzi, South Africa’s Judith Sephuma and Blessing Nwafor. The artists met and recorded the song while in South Africa in May, with Cobhams Asuquo behind the song’s production. The song’s video was directed by Godfather Productions.

At a recent press briefing in Lagos, Nigeria, Jalade-Ekeinde said she recognised her own privilege, noting that others are not as lucky. I am fortunate to be a young woman living her dreams, a trailblazer of my generation,” she said. “But I also recognize that many women and girls are not so fortunate; women and girls are disproportionately affected by the injustice of poverty and inequality. But when we invest in women and girls, we increase and accelerate the chances of overcoming extreme poverty.”

According to Yemi Alade, “It is important for me as a woman, as a strong girl, to join my sisters from across the continent to tell the world that we can’t fight the injustice of extreme poverty without fighting the immense gender inequality that persists.”

Bono, frontman of rock band U2, co-founded the One campaign. It receives funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Dr Sipho Moyo, One’s Africa Executive Director, said: “We must seize this opportunity to refocus the development agenda, and unleash the human, social, political and economic potential of women everywhere. Investments in health, education and economic empowerment can help remove the barriers that prevent so many girls and women from leading healthy and productive lives. Giving women the power and tools they need to improve their lives and take hold of equal opportunities means they can become catalysts to help end poverty.”

For more details visit the One website. Watch the full video below.

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