GRAMMY AWARD WINNER ANGÉLIQUE KIDJO HONOURED WITH AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL AWARD
The two time Grammy Award winner Activist Angélique Kidjo and three inspirational African youth activist movements have been declared this year’s joint winners of the prestigious Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2016. The award will be shared between Benin-born artist Angélique Kidjo, who is one of world’s most successful African singer-songwriters, and the activist groups Y’en a marre from Senegal, le Balai Citoyen from Burkina Faso and Lutte pour le Changement (LUCHA) from DRC. All will be honoured at the awards ceremony in Dakar, Senegal, on May 28. The Ambassador of Conscience Award is a celebration of those public figures who have shown exceptional courage in standing up to injustice. Grammy-winning artist fled her homeland in the 1980s after being pressured to perform for the country’s repressive regime. In a 30-year-career spawning 12 albums, she has been a prominent campaigner for freedom of expression and for the education of girls in Africa, as well as against female genital mutilation. Y’en a marre is a group of Senegalese rappers and journalists who joined forces in January 2011 to encourage young people to register to vote in the country’s election and exercise their right to freedom of expression. Le Balai Citoyen is a political grassroots movement committed to peaceful protest and co-founded in 2013 by two musicians, reggae artist Sams’K Le Jah and rapper Smockey (Serge Bambara). LUCHA is a community-based youth movement committed to peaceful protest that was created in Goma, eastern DRC, in 2012. Its activism focuses on social issues, human rights and the protection of civilians from armed groups. LUCHA advocates for social justice and democratic governance through non-partisan and non-violent actions.