by Sola Fasasi
Nigerian soul singer Lami has just joined the elite group of international celebrities such as Antonio Banderas, Angelique Kidjo, Zinedine Zidane, Bill Gates, Maria Sharapova and others who promote the cause of the fulfilment of the Millennium Development Goals. She was recently appointed as an Advocate for the United Nations Millennium Campaign. This came on the heels of her performance at the closing ceremony of the World Youth Congress in Turkey in August 2010.
“Lami’s appointment is a boost to the work various civil society organizations in Nigeria are doing to ensure that our government sits up and fulfils their MDGs promises. We at the Nigeria Network of NGOs are confident that her appointment will open up the space for forging sustainable relationships with her constituency based on the shared desire to work towards the attainment of the MDGS,” said Ms. Yemisi Ransome-Kuti, Trustee Nigeria Network of NGOs.
The songstress also runs an organization called bethechange (Be The Change), and she has chosen, for now, to focus her efforts on encouraging young Nigerians to register to vote. “As a UN Advocate for the MDGs, Lami will bring her profile, skills and contacts to bear in an effort to significantly raise awareness of the MDGs and build a movement of engaged citizens who are ready to hold their governments accountable for the commitments made to achieve the MDGs by 2015,” Bayo Omisore her media representative said.
“Registration is the first step towards ensuring that our voice as a collective is heard,” said Lami. “Our faith as a nation in terms of the attainment of the MDGs is hinged on the 2011 elections as those we elect into government at this time will be the ones to lead us to the 2015 target of the MDGs. While progress is being made in achieving some of the goals, it is sad that we have backslidden on many of the goals. Hence we need a government that has the political will to accelerate and sustain action on key determinants for the goals,” she continued.
She has garnered the help of artistes Naeto C, eLDee and Ice Prince as well as Storm CEO Obi Asika to use the power of celebrity to encourage young people to go out to register to vote. This appointment is a big step forward for Lami, and we wish her all the best as she embarks on this remarkable new phase of her career.