Using music as a tool to promote worldwide peace, Open Mic Forum in partnership with the U.S. Mission Nigeria, organized a concert to mark Daniel Pearl World Music Days in Abuja on October 23. The concert featured several talented musicians and budding performing artistes in music, poetry, drama, and dance at the Cyprian Ekwensi Center for Arts and Culture.
Daniel Pearl was a journalist and a violin player who traveled the world and made friends wherever he went with his love for music. In 2002, he was kidnapped while investigating a story in Pakistan as the South Asia Bureau Chief of The Wall Street Journal. He was later brutally murdered by his captors. Since his death, his family has honored his legacy by using music to help people learn to respect each other.
In her remarks, U.S. Embassy Charge d’Affaires, Maria Brewer, said that the gathering of artistes and audience at this year’s Daniel Pear World Music Days was a true testimony that music can bridge gaps and foster communication between different cultures. She added that when people come to such concerts, they set aside their individual differences and focus on shared love for music. Harmony for Humanity is the theme for this year’s Daniel Pearl World Music Days.
Each artiste took turn to perform with several acts bringing tears to the eyes of the audience. For instance, Hip Hop on Wheels, a talented youth dance group, depicted the spate of blood-letting in Nigeria and rhetorically asked the question “How many of us do you want to kill?” Another artiste, Big Daddy, added his voice with a song that specifically asked for peace. “You need peace, I need peace, Africa needs peace,” he sang. Also, Six Foot Plus, demonstrated the plight of domestic slavery between house-helpers and their slave master as he sang “E Don Do Me,” meaning “I have had enough.” Julietta, an ardent Michael Jackson fan and talented singer, asked those opposed to peace to stop the violence in Nigeria for the sake of the children who are made orphans every time a parent is killed. Tim Bello’s performance also got a huge applause from the audience as his group dramatized “I wear the shoes and I feel the pain.”
Each performance was thought-provoking said Kelvin Chuwang Pam, 2009 Big Brother Africa winner. “Every performance had a strong message that should be food for thought to every peace loving Nigerian.” He said the question posed by the cast of Hip Hop on Wheels saying—where did we go wrong?—in particular, was soul searching and of concern to the audience.