All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) in partnership with Africa Union Commission, AUC, and ONE commemorated the Day of the African Child (DAC) on August 15 with a special event as part of the programme of events of the 2015 Africa Union (AU) Summit held from June 7 to June 15.
The DAC event which came up at the Soweto Hotel, Soweto, South Africa
took place under the theme “Ending Child Marriages”. It was attended
by South Africa’s Minister of Social Development, Ms. Bathabile
Dlamini; Director of Social Affairs of the AUC, Ambassador Olawale
Maiyegun; Representative of United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR) to the AU, Jane Okello; and Commissioner, Commission
for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious
and Linguistics Communities, Sheila T. Khama, among other delegates.
Nigerian film star, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, who is also ONE’s
“Poverty is Sexist” campaign ambassador, took part on the panel of
an intergenerational dialogue on the theme. In line with the AU
declaration of 2015 as the Year of Women Empowerment and Development,
“Poverty is Sexist” is ONE’s global campaign to push African
leaders to step up with a clear set of policy reforms and budget
commitment in their declaration at the 2015 AU Summit. The main digital
asset of the campaign is a song titled “Strong Girl” which ONE
produced in collaboration with some of the continent’s top female
artists namely; Yemi Alade (Nigeria); Waje (Nigeria); Gabriela
(Mozambique); AFRIMA 2014 winner of Best Female Artiste in Eastern
Africa, Vanessa Mdee (Tanzania); Victoria Kimani (Kenya); Arielle T
(Gabon), Judith Sephuma (South Africa) and a new teen rapper known as
Blessing (South Africa).
After the plenary session, ONE in partnership with the AUC, South
Africa’s Department of Social Development, and the All Africa Music
Awards (AFRIMA) hosted a cocktail at the same venue. The cocktail was
opened by Ambassador Maiyegun, while Regional Director of Plan
International, Roland Angerer; AFRIMA Jury member (representing Southern
Africa from Zimbabwe) Delani Makhalima and Mr. Thabiso Pule from South
Africa’s Department of Social Development also spoke at the event.
In his speech delivered on behalf of the International Committee of
AFRIMA, Mr. Makhalima reinforced AFRIMA’s commitment to working
closely with ONE and the AUC to achieve the social change through
“Children are at the heart of our epicentre as music revolves around
young people. AFRIMA encourages the continued use of musicians and the
AFRIMA platform to send positive messages of discouraging Child
Marriages in Africa. Such initiatives need to involve AFRIMA more so
that we can collectively run and implement year round campaigns across
The cocktail culminated in a performance of ‘Strong Girl’ by Yemi
Alade, Selmor Mtukudzi and AFRIMA 2014 winner, Vanessa Mdee.