Outgoing British High Commissioner Michael Nevin and his wife, Sawako, as well as hip-hop artist Tay Grin on Friday launched a girls empowerment campaign song Reach Out (4 ur Dreams) which encourages girls to remain in school.
The campaign concept was conceived by Sawako and Tay Grin supported it by writing most of the lyrics for the song, which apart from Sawako, also features High Commissioner Nevin and Lilongwe city deputy mayor Akwame Bandawe.
Speaking during the launch in Blantyre on the sidelines of Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations, Sawako said the new song complements the Msungwana Shaina song that she did with Lucius Banda in 2014.
She said the campaign also supports the UN Women’s He-For-She campaign which calls upon men and boys to stand up against persisting inequalities faced by girls and women globally.
Said Sawako: “Malawian girls are facing a number of challenges to continue their education. In 2012/2013, only 47 percent of girls finished primary school. The major reasons for such a high dropout rate include expectations by their family, and maybe in society at large for them to unfairly bear the responsibility of family chores or looking after young children.
Ambassador Nevin, who is one of the He-for-She campaigners was optimistic that the song will give confidence to girls to demand their right to education.
“If someone like me can do a bit of rapping, I hope it can, in some small way show that anything is possible if we try. It is a song which I hope will get widespread air play and become an anthem for Malawi’s girls and the African child.”
On his part, Tay Grin promised to sustain the campaign even after the departure of the Nevins by holding a number of shows in schools to reach out to the girls.
“I have lined up a number of shows this month and next month and during all these shows I will keep on encouraging girls not to give up. We are also planning to shoot a DVD with some girl students so that they become part of it,” he said.
Bandawe, on the other hand, promised to use his Akwame Bandawe Foundation, which was set up in 2014 to promote empowerment and development of the youth, to sustain the campaign. n