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With UN-backed CD, Sierra Leoneans to dance to the rhythms of reconciliation

With UN-backed CD, Sierra Leoneans to dance to the rhythms of reconciliation

The lilting messages of peace and civic engagement will be heard on sound systems across Sierra Leone, starting this week, with the release of a new CD produced by local musicians in collaboration with the United Nations Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL).

According to UNIOSIL, the CD will help amplify its efforts to broadcast the findings of the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), meant to help heal rifts left by 11 years of bloody civil war, and to elicit greater citizen engagement in the country, where illiteracy rates remain high and where music plays an important role in social and cultural life.

The 35 artists who contributed to the CD include such local stars as Zibo, Born Dada, Father T, Jonny Wisdom and Miriam.

Topics of the 15 numbers, as indicated by their titles, include “Sierra Leone belongs to every citizen,” “Human Rights,” “Corruption” and “Women in Sierra Leone,” sung in English, Krio, Temne, and Mende.

The album will be launched at a gala concert at the national stadium in the country’s capital, Freetown, on 11 May, by Adisa Jelani Andwele, renowned musician and poet of Barbados and Goodwill Ambassador of the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

In his letter of invitation to the concert, the Executive Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Sierra Leone, Victor Angelo, noted that “the messages contained in the music CD are widely anticipated to create the opportunity for greater citizen engagement towards a further strengthening of the legal, judicial, institutional and administrative mechanisms, as well as cultural and democratic values.”