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Angelique Kidjo pays homage to 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates

MISANI Special to the AmNews | 1/30/2012, 4:57 p.m.
Portrait of Leymah Gbowee

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Angelique Kidjo pays homage to 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates

photo

Angelique Kidjo pays homage to 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates

The Grammy award winner Angelique Kidjo texted me on Sunday December 11 at 2:13 Eastern Standard Time. "We're in Oslo for the ceremony and Nobel Peace Prize Concert! (It's) starting now on CNN.com."

"This was yesterday..." (December 10) the iconic Beninese superstar and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador added in her text, which she sent along with this link-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yo1lfEYgDjs.

On the video she is in Oslo, Norway singing her popular hit "Malaika," for the 2012 Nobel Prize honorees: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia; Leymah Roberta Gbowee, the Liberian executive director of the Accra, Ghana-based Women Peace and Security Network; and activist/journalist Tawakkol Karman, from Yemen.

The annual Nobel Peace Prize Concert is a musical tribute held to recognize the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, which this year was awarded jointly to Sirleaf, Gbowee and Karman "for their nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work."

Sirleaf, the first elected female head of state in Africa, is respected worldwide for her work on ethics, principles and skillful governance. She is a strong advocate of women's rights and education, both of which she feels are key empowerment tools that will help provide a better future for Liberia and its people.

Gbowee is best known as the leader of a women's peace movement in her country, which in 2003 stopped the second Liberian civil war, leading to Sirleaf's election as president. The award-winning peace activist is a founding member and former coordinator of the Women in Peacebuilding Program/West African Network for Peacebuilding. Gbowee also served as a commissioner-designate for the Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Karman, the 32-year-old Yemini activist, is best known for her involvement in the Arab Spring, the movement of demonstrations that began Dec. 18, 2010, in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Syria and Yemen. Despite death threats and intimidation that her children would be kidnapped, Karman continues a peaceful struggle in her country.

In the video, at the prize-giving ceremony, Sirleaf, Gbowee and Karman are smiling broadly with their trophy in their hands as Kidjo serenades them in song. All of the women look absolutely radiant and resplendent, adorned in exquisitely designed traditional garments

On Sunday, Dec. 11, the day after the prize-giving ceremony, the 18th Nobel Peace Prize Concert, which took place at the Olso Spectrum, got underway. In addition to Kidjo, the concert featured performances by Jill Scott, Janelle Monae, Sugarland, David Gray, Matthew Morrison, Ellie Goulding, Bernhoft, World Youth Choir, Ahmed Fathu and Miatta Fahnbulleh.

The co-hosts of the concert were Emmy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren, who was appointed a dame of the British Empire in 2003, and Rosario Dawson, the actress/activist/environmentalist associated with such organizations as V-Day, whose mission is stopping violence against women, and the Environmental Media Association. Dawson is the recipient of the President's Volunteer Service Award.

What a great lineup of women! And what amazing, life-changing work they are committed to doing to make this a better world for everyone. And in the midst, as is customary, is the great friend of Harlem and supporter of Africa Sings! our dynamic sister-friend Kidjo.

The "Moonlit Windows" column takes an insightful look at the lives of spirited, life-changing women living extraordinary lives in their quest of what it means to be human in the 21st century.

To contact "Moonlit Windows," please email moonlitwindows7@aol.com.