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Local artists compose song for peace

by Sunday Express
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Mohalenyane Phakela

MEDIA and human rights organisation Hillside Digital Trust, in partnership with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), launched the Youth4Peace campaign song aimed at encouraging youths to vote in the upcoming 28 February elections.

The Youth4Peace campaign is aimed at reaching out youths and vulnerable groups who are apathetic towards the voting process. The campaign is also supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United States Embassy in Lesotho.

Speaking at the launch held at a Maseru hotel on Wednesday, IEC Commissioner Makase Nyaphisi, said it was not just a right but a responsibility for young people to vote.

“The youth account for about 40 percent of the population and are therefore a major voting bloc,” Dr Nyaphisi said.

“This is not about promoting any political party but safeguarding the future of this country, which is in their hands.”

The campaign’s theme song, Peace is our Future, features such artists as Damario, Stlofa, Simphiwe and Puseletso Seema, who were also present at the launch.

One of the organisers of the campaign, Moleboheng Rampou, said they had teamed up with “Lesotho’s finest talent” to come up with a theme song that he said would appeal to the youth.

“We worked with Lesotho’s most talented artists and producers to compose our youth anthem,” Rampou said.

“Music has always been a powerful instrument of fostering unity and there is no doubt the youth are passionate about it. That is why we are using music in reaching out to them.”

The song, which incorporates various genres, starts off on a low tempo with poet and songwriter, Simphiwe, imploring the youth to safeguard the legacy King Moshoeshoe I left behind. It then gains momentum with the other artistes joining in, calling for the nation’s future leaders to stand united and ensure peace prevails.

Afro-pop sensation Damario, who spoke on behalf of the artistes, said: “We worked on this masterpiece for more than a week. Although it was not my first time working on a campaign song, I had the experience of a lifetime and sincerely believe the song will encourage our youth to stand up for this country.

“Since we started by uniting as artists who had never worked together and those who no longer had good working relations, I believe our target market will also find inspiration from that.”

At the same event, the IEC also launched its toll-free line, 80022033, which enables voters to air their views regarding the upcoming national assembly elections until the end of March.

The campaign will culminate in a concert on Valentine’s Day dubbed “Stand United” at Maseru Club featuring motivational speakers, voters’ educators and the artists featured on the theme song.


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