Angélique Kidjo Wins Amnesty International Award
The prestigious Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award was awarded to world-renowned musician Angélique Kidjo and three inspirational African youth activist groups, Y’en a marre from Senegal, Le Balai Citoyen from Burkina Faso and LUCHA from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Every year, the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award celebrates individuals and groups who speak out for justice. The recipients are people who have used their talents to inspire others to fight for human rights. The award also aims to create debate, encourage public action and raise awareness of human rights issues.
This would add to Angélique’s long list of awards but is one of the most significant as it celebrates her efforts to defend and celebrate human rights for all.
Previous winners of the Ambassador of Conscience Award include the late South African leader Nelson Mandela, Myanmar politician Aung San Suu Kyi, the rock band U2, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and American singer-songwriterJoan Baez.
The current award will be shared between Benin-born artist Angélique Kidjo, one of world’s most successful African singer-songwriters, and the activist groups Y’en a marre from Senegal, le Balai Citoyen from Burkina Faso and Lutte pour le Changement (LUCHA) from DRC. All will be honored at the awards ceremony in Dakar, Senegal, on May 28.
“The Ambassador of Conscience Award is a celebration of those public figures who have shown exceptional courage in standing up to injustice. Angélique Kidjo and the members of Y’en a marre, le Balai Citoyen and LUCHA have all proved themselves to be bold advocates for human rights, using their talents to inspire others,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.
Grammy-winning artist Angélique Kidjo fled her homeland in the 1980s after being pressured to perform for the country’s repressive regime.
In a 30-year-career spawning 12 albums, she has been a prominent campaigner for freedom of expression and for the education of girls in Africa, as well as against female genital mutilation.
“I have always tried to use my voice—singing and spoken—to fight injustice and inequality. Amnesty International’s work throughout the years has been so courageous and extraordinary that receiving the Ambassador of Conscience award is intimidating to me! The award will energize me to stay outspoken about the crucial human rights issues of our time,” she said.