News / Africa

    Music Used to Lure Younger Voters in Sierra Leone

    A grandmother gives her grandchildren school lessons on their porch in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown, April 24, 2012.A grandmother gives her grandchildren school lessons on their porch in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown, April 24, 2012.
    x
    A grandmother gives her grandchildren school lessons on their porch in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown, April 24, 2012.
    A grandmother gives her grandchildren school lessons on their porch in Sierra Leone's capital Freetown, April 24, 2012.
    As Sierra Leone gets into election mode, an organization in Freetown is using the power of music to ensure that young people turn out to vote on November 17 in presidential and parliamentry elections.
     
    A Sierra Leone organization called Artists United for Children and Youth Development has created a song and video called "Let Us Go and Vote" - a message aimed at young people.
     
    It is the first election-based video to come out this year, said Ibrahim Mansaray, program coordinator for the organization. He hopes voters between the ages of 18 and 35 will realize the importance of their voices being heard.
     
    "It is a very critical thing they need to do. They need to think and make sure they work on ideologies, look at political parties ideologies, that are in line with their dreams and aspirations," said Mansaray.

    Promoting peace

    The non-profit group War Child Canada also has been involved in the project, providing a recording studio for the song and editing of the video. The two organizations have worked together for several years to create projects promoting peace among youth.

    War Child Canada international program director Richard Corbridge said he hopes the video gets people talking about the election.
     
    "Music is so important to youth in the local culture here. For young people, music is a real medium for them to rally around. So music with a message is an extremely accessible way for other young people to talk about the issues," said Corbridge.
     
    The video features a little girl walking around with a ballot box on her head. In bold black letters the box simply says "Vote."

    Voting for future generations

    Schwarbu Kamara is the video producer for the song and came up with the concept featuring a child.
     
    "She went to all these places - Freetown, up country and some bushes. That implies we have to vote and forget about violence, you have to come out and do your vote peacefully," said Kamara.
     
    He hopes the image will inspire people to think about how their vote also can affect the children in this country and the song’s message of non-violence.
     
    Last month the U.N. representative to Sierra Leone warned of rising tensions before the elections.

    Learning from the past

    Kamara said going through the 10-year civil war in Sierra Leone during the 1990s was such a horrific time, he does not want anything that could create a similar experience.
     
    "People were fighting, killing, there was bloodshed, that had an impact on me. Anytime election is about to approach, I do get that fear that maybe what has happened  to me in the past, maybe it will come up again," said Kamara.
     
    The video is receiving positive reaction. Alberta Massa Quoi, chief of external relations for the National Election Commission, described the video as a creative approach.
     
    "Where more the commission has interest is in first-time voters. We have a good number of Sierra Leoneons who are now turned 18. The role of these persons will become important and vital," said Quoi.
     
    The video will play until a new president is elected.

    You May Like

    Brexit Vote Triggers Increase in Racist Attacks

    Britain's decision to leave European Union seen by some as 'permission' to unleash anti-immigrant resentment

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    AIIB Takes Big Strides Amid Fears About China's Dominance

    Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank says it is independent, but concerns persist; China holds 20.6 percent of bank's shares, others have less than 7.5 percent each

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmarki
    X
    John Owens
    June 26, 2016 2:04 PM
    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora