The first-ever Peace Day Anthem will premiere at the Peace One Day Youth Celebration in Kigali, Rwanda on September 21, in front of thousands of young people and beamed live into Rwanda and the world on the Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) network.
The anthem, written by musician Zwai Bala and produced by Coke Studio Africa, is hoped to inspire a generation of young people to celebrate Peace Day as a catalyst for sustainable peace in the region. The anthem will be performed by top artists of the African music industry Ice Prince (Nigeria), Dama Do Bling (Mozambique), Maurice Kirya (Uganda), Alikiba (Tanzania) and Wangechi (Kenya), who will be joined by leading dance groups Krest Crew and Jabba Junior, and artists Innoss’B, Urban Boyz, and Knowless on the day.
The Peace Day Anthem will be available on iTunes from September 21; all proceeds will go to the non-profit organisation Peace One Day to support its mission to reach three billion people with the message of Peace Day by 2016.
The Peace One Day Youth Celebration 2015, which is part of Peace One Day’s wider campaign in the region made possible by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, is being organised in partnership with the Rwandan National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC); and supported by the Rwandan Ministry of Youth and ICT and the Ministry of Sports and Culture. The event will highlight how peace can be nurtured through music, dance, and sport, and will feature young people from the region who will share their inspirational personal experiences of peace.
“I am thrilled to be marking this Peace Day with the first-ever Peace Day Anthem being performed on stage in Kigali thanks to Coca-Cola and it being broadcast live into Rwanda and the world on the Rwanda Broadcasting Agency network,” said Peace One Day founder Jeremy Gilley.
“I’m extremely grateful to RBA for enabling Peace One Day to empower young people from not only Rwanda and the wider Great Lakes region of Africa but also globally to become the driving force behind the vision of a united and sustainable world, using Peace Day 21 September as a focus for their actions for peace.”
Jeremy Gilley is an actor turned filmmaker, who in the late 1990s became preoccupied with questions about the fundamental nature of humanity and the issue of peace. He decided to explore these through the medium of film, and specifically, to create a documentary following his campaign to establish an annual day of ceasefire and non-violence.
In 1999, Gilley founded Peace One Day, a non-profit organisation, and in 2001 Peace One Day’s efforts were rewarded when the member states of the United Nations unanimously adopted the first ever annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence on 21 September – Peace Day.
Peace One Day’s objective is to institutionalise Peace Day 21 September, making it a day that is self-sustaining, an annual day of global unity, a day of intercultural cooperation on a scale that humanity has never known.
To support this goal, and inspired by a 70 per cent recorded reduction in violent incidents on Peace Day 2008 in Afghanistan (according to the United Nations Department of Safety and Security), Gilley launched series of Peace One Day coalitions, each with a lead partner: the NGO Coalition; the ‘Reducing Domestic Violence’ Coalition; the Student Coalition; the Faith Coalition; the Media Coalition; the Corporate Coalition; and the Schools’ Network.