Sunday, March 24, 2013

PURELY AFRICAN: LYDIAH DOLA SCALING THE HEIGHTS

PURELY AFRICAN: LYDIAH DOLA SCALING THE HEIGHTS


LYDIAH DOLA

Lydiah Dola, is a composer, singer, guitarist, poet,and a social activist born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. She uses her voice and power for social change- equality, justice,peace and freedom.
She is one of Kenya’s upand coming afro-fusion female artists and the founder of African Tunes of Peaceunder the umbrella, Peace Addicts. Together with Dan “Chizzy” Aceda, now oneof Kenya’s best male afro-fusion artists, they formed a duo and started writingand singing mainly Gospel music.
Her first attempt to sharethe unity that African music brings to the world was in 2004 when she wasnominated as the most promising female in Africa at the prestigious Kora allAfrica Music Awards held in Sandton City, South Africa.
She has performed atvarious forums in Kenya and across Africa and Asia, preaching the message ofpeace, love and unity. The single song ‘A better World is Possible’, made agreat impact at the India Social Forum in New Delhi, and at the World SocialForum in Nairobi, Kenya.
She is a member of the Alliance Française Spotlighton Kenyan music and one of the many artists who toured the country in 2008 inthe peace and reconciliation concerts organised by the Alliance francaise inNairobi. These concerts dubbed ‘weaponsof mass reconciliation’were used to promote ‘unity in diversity’ bytaking musicians and music from different regions to introduce them on newterritory in an effort to create a better understanding and tolerance of‘similarities in differences’. Over a period of six weeks, the tourcrisscrossed the main urban centers of Nakuru, Eldoret, Nyeri, Meru, Kisumu,Kakamega, Machakos and Mombasa on a mobile stage truck, with concerts takingplace in open public grounds every weekend. The project has left an indeliblemark on the musical scene in Kenya by reaching out to diverse audiences acrossthe country in building bridges and respect between culturally distinctcommunities.
Through CMFD, She wasinvolved in the making and recording of the six-part serial drama, Crossroads,which was recently awarded by Radio for Peace building Africa in the AfricaAwards Special Category. She was one of the main characters and developers ofthe drama’s theme song.
She was among the20,000 women and men who marched in solidarity with women in the DR Congo onOctober 17, 2010 to call for economic and social change, demilitarization, andan end to rape being used as a weapon of war. Her music was greatly appreciatedby the Congolese sisters as she sang and danced to freedom.
This year she hasbeen involved in the pre-election peace and good governance music festivals.
Some of her songsand music have been used in short films and radio programs for peace andhumanity by different organizations including Oxfam GB, Men for Gender EqualityNow (MEGEN) and Legal resource foundation.
Thejourney continues as she carries on her duties throughout the world, sharing hervoice with the voiceless.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Stopping violence with education: Program targets attacks on women

Stopping violence with education: Program targets attacks on women
Jodie Layne of the Broadway Neighbourhood Centre says educating young men and boys is a simple solution to violence.
Jodie Layne of the Broadway Neighbourhood Centre says educating young men and boys is a simple solution to violence. (JESSICA BURTNICK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

Five things we can all do to stop violence against women

1 Consider what you would do if you witnessed a woman being threatened or assaulted. Ask her if she is all right and whether she needs help. If you have safety concerns, call 911. 2 Wherever there’s drinking, always be thinking. Speak up if any friend or stranger tries to “score” with a woman who’s had too much to drink. 3 Suspect a friend is being abused? Talk to her about it. Breaking the silence may be just what she needs to start getting help. 4 Suspect a friend is being abusive? Talk to him about it. Get him alone and calmly tell him you value his friendship but you’re troubled by his behaviour. This may help him to see what he is doing is wrong. 5 Speak up about abusive and derogatory language about women. Object to this behaviour in a non-confrontational way by saying, “It’s just wrong to talk about women that way. Stop it.”
— source: Status of Women Canada; www.swc-cfc.gc.ca
Men can stop violence against women and the Broadway Neighbourhood Centre is going to show them how. A 24-month program called Engaging Boys and Men to End Violence Against Women, beginning this fall, has received $198,960 in federal funding, announced on Tuesday by MP Joyce Bateman on behalf of federal Status of Women Minister Rona Ambrose. The program is taking a new path toward a solution to an old problem, said project co-ordinator Jodie Layne. "We are so excited about this program. We often teach women how to react to violence, but we don't teach men not to create violence in the first place," said Layne, 23, who will lead the program based out of the BNC. "It's such an obvious solution but not one that has been widely implemented." Layne said the program will involve 15 boys and young men aged 15 to 25 from community partner groups in the BNC's area who will participate in educational sessions twice per week and then take the information from the course to their communities to teach others. The curriculum for the course is being built during the next few months, using expertise from groups such as Status of Women Manitoba and local researchers. Layne said the program will involve boys and young men who are willing to make the commitment to the course and spread the word through their peer groups, local schools and community centres. "We're going to be finding people who are still young and still forming their ideas, their roles in their communities and families as men," said Layne. "By getting them when they are starting to define those roles and what their ideas of masculinity are and how that plays into their behaviours, hopefully we can help them not develop any problem behaviours and share that information." BNC board of directors president Darrell Horn and BNC executive director Lawrence Mulhall will oversee the program, which is "a natural extension" of other youth intervention/prevention programs run out of the centre. "This is a little beyond the scope of sticks and balls and skipping ropes that are the community-centre paradigm," Horn said. "We hope this is another step in the direction of long-term, sustainable, meaningful interventions that have taken on serious issues in our community." "This program is directed at young men and it is about violence against women and that recognizes this is a problem that goes beyond the obvious. We have to start looking upstream, beyond what we think are the root causes. This is a huge step in the right direction." Layne said the new program is recognizing violence against women is a community issue, not just a women's issue. "We want them (men) to be able to say, 'Dude, that's not cool,' and take that message into the community," Layne said. ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 14, 2013 A8