Music has always played a vital role championing social causes; whether through bringing musicians together to challenge injustice, raise funds for the disadvantaged or, in fact, to demonstrate to the world a rich and vibrant culture that is under threat. Music speaks to everyone; irrespective of background, age, religion, political opinions or wealth, everyone can find something that connects them with another through music.
Peace One Day has been campaigning for over 17 years, making the case for Peace Day, an annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence, 21 September. On this journey we have worked with every sector of society and music has been a powerful vehicle to bring people together on the day. We have held concerts around the world including Derry-Londonderry, the Peace Palace in The Hague (the home of the ICJ), and last year in Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Artists such as Annie Lennox, Akon, Elton John, Youssou N'Dour, Lexxus Legal and many more have performed in celebration of the only day of peace the world as one has.
This year, music for Peace Day takes on a new and inspiring dimension with 'ONE', the Peace Day anthem by Coke Studio in Nairobi. Bringing musicians together from five African countries this song celebrates the power of peace to unite people and champion our common humanity. Musicians include Zwai Bala (South Africa), Ice Prince (Nigeria) Maurice Kirya (Uganda), Alikiba (Tanzania), Wangechi (Kenya) and Dama Do Bling (Mozambique) have come together in this unique track, offering the world's peacemakers and champions an anthem to unite behind and celebrate.
The anthem will be premiered at the Peace One Day Youth Celebration held on Peace Day in the Petit Stade Amahoro in Kigali, Rwanda which features performances from artists from across the Great Lakes region of Africa including Congolese musician, Innoss'B, Rwandan performers including Knowless, Urban Boyz, dance crews, Jabba Junior & Krest Crew and the pan-African choir, the African Children's Choir. Using music, dance, film and more, Peace Day will empower the peacemakers of the future to become to driving force behind a more peaceful and sustainable world. What better way to amplify this message than an anthem bringing together music fans from around the world?
On Peace Day, 'ONE' will be available for download on a number of download sites including iTunes, Google Play and Amazon, so everyone will have the chance to own this part of Peace Day history and share it with their friends and family, spreading the message of Peace Day further around the world. This anthem is supporting our work to raise awareness of Peace Day, 21 September in the Great Lakes region of Africa and across the world. We are grateful to the Howard G. Buffett Foundation for making this possible.
Peace Day, 21 September is about building peace one day at a time and through music we can unite people behind this message, celebrating hope, our common humanity and lasting peace.
Here's to Peace Day, Monday 21 September 2015.