With Nigeria's elections drawing closer, a new initiative has begun that seeks to harness the power of music to encourage those who believe in a better future for Nigeria and Africa.
The project, titled Chime Asonye presents #Songs4Change, is a weekly dose of revolutionary music to inspire social progress in Nigeria and Africa more broadly. The songs – a mixture of old and new – advocate for positive change and awareness of important issues such as malaria, epileptic power, and domestic violence, amongst others. The initiative will feature primarily African artists but will occasionally include songs from others who promote social advancement and political consciousness. "I believe knowledge is created, not just by words on a page, but in fluid and dynamic ways," said Asonye, a development practitioner and social commentator, when describing why he started #Songs4Change. "Ever since I was young, I was shaped by politics shared in creative spaces like spoken word, debate, dance and theater. Music was always a constant fixture in these spheres and could touch people uniquely. Drawing on music to create critical consciousness in Nigeria borrows from my personal experiences that often combined art and politics."
The goals for #Songs4Change include but are not limited to, (1) increase dialogue on important development concerns using the hashtag #Songs4Change, (2) provide inspiration and encourage activism in and around Nigeria and Africa, and (3) stimulate the creation of progressive music from entertainers and upcoming artist. As a generation passionate about the change we want to see, it is imperative that we begin to challenge the status quo and require more from our entertainers and ourselves.
Africans have consistently unified and connected through music. Historically, it has been used to provide a source of inspiration and draw attention to important concerns on the continent. As the late great Afrobeat legend, Fela Kuti said, "As far as Africa is concerned, music cannot be for enjoyment. Music has to be for revolution." #Songs4Change will be partnering with YNaija 2015,Jaguda.com, Gidilounge, AmeyawDebrah.com, Omojuwa.com, NigeriansTalk, Amplified Radio, NaijaDC, The ScoopNGand Tribex Marketing Group to help spread these songs all over Africa and the Diaspora.
"We look forward to a growing list of media partners as our message reaches more people," Asonye said. "I believe these songs can become this generation's soundtrack for revolution."
For all things #Songs4Change, visit http://bit.ly/songs4change or subscribe here to receive weekly updateshttp://bit.ly/s4csubscribe. For more information, contact Chime Asonye at Songs4ChangeNG@gmail.com.