If It Takes a Village, Then It Takes One Man at A Time!
FGM – one topic we either shy away from or tackle with a whole lot of challenges. Well, FORWARD (Foundation for Women’s Health, Research & Development), an African Diaspora women led campaign and support charity dedicated to advancing and safeguarding the sexual and reproductive health and rights of African girls and women, is not letting it go. They talk about it and have gone step further to bring men on board. In my experience, this has often been one complaint/challenge that not enough men from the continent are speaking up for the women. That is changing with the likes of Baaba Maal and now, another celebrated Senegalese artist, Carlou D as he uses his music to call on men to get involved in the campaign to end FGM and raise awareness. Carlou D and Special guests: Seye and WEIRD MC will perform in a fundraising concert for FORWARD on 21st July 2012 atLondon’s Roundhouse.
Born in the suburbs of Senegal’s capital Dakar, Carlou D started his musical career as a member of Positive Black Soul: the country’s first, and arguably most successful, hip-hop group, and has been mentored by and collaborated with the legendary Youssou N’Dour. “The part of hip-hop which I have kept in my music is the courage to be direct,” says Carlou. Carlou D’s songs address social issues and political situations mixed with deeply spiritual evocations. The outspoken musician takes listeners on a musical journey from jazz, acoustic roots, soul, to rap and spiritual chants (‘Zikr’ in Arabic) in a musical style he has termed as ‘Muzikr’.
Carlou D’s performance at London’s Roundhouse will be preceded by a session entitled “Conversations with African male artists” in which he and fellow guest artists from FGM affected communities will share their views and thoughts on how men can play an active role in the campaign to end the practice. They will focus on the crucial role of men in the campaign to end FGM and also the power of music and other art forms to be a platform for achieving social change.
Speaking about the role of music to evoke social change, a representative from FORWARD UK said: “Artists have the power to move people and influence decision makers (traditional/religious leaders) and parents in FGM affected communities. We believe in the power of music and art to spread positive messages reach wider audiences and create a positive change within society.”
For more information, go to: FORWARD UK