The Kenyan Hip Hop superstar and UN-HABITAT Messenger of Truth Gidi Gidi last week teamed up with Rolf Stahlhofen of Germany, Samsaya representing Norway and India, and Lam of Sudan to give the German city of Mannheim a rousing concert organized by UN-HABITAT in cooperation with its private sector partner, the German chemical giant BASF, the Popakademie – Baden-Wuerttemberg, and the City of Mannheim.
In line with the Messengers of Truth aim to keep young people informed about the UN Millennium Development Goals and sustainable urbanization, the Different Experiences, One Groove concert in Mannheim was a big success.
They also joined young Germans, Hip Hop artists and other local musicians at a panel discussion moderated by the University of Mannheim to explore ways of using music to inspire young people to take a proactive stand on decision-making processes that affect their lives.
The artists agreed to form a Messengers of Truth All Star Band and meet again in Nairobi early next year to put on a show to raise funds for youth empowerment.
The Popakademie has also offered to team up with UN-HABITAT and the Messengers of Truth to write new lyrics that highlight sustainable urbanization. The Messenger of Truth, who first performed at the second session of UN-HABITAT’s World Urban Forum in Barcelona in 2004, are also scheduled to put on a show at the fourth session in the Chinese city of Nanjing in October 2008.
BASF is working with UN-HABITAT in Sri Lanka in its continuing support to the tsunami devastated communities bordering the Indian Ocean.