by Helvine Achieng
April 6, 2021
Nigeria's songbird Yemi Alade and Beninese-American singer-songwriter Angelique Kidjo have teamed up to release a new song dubbed Dignity inspired by Nigeria's youth movement -#EndSARS.
According to local news outlets, the song is a homage to the protestors of the #EndSARS movement, which gained global attention last year with the conversation pushing Nigeria's authorities to put an end to police brutality.
The Dignity music video is cinematic storytelling fitting which shows a bleak view of migrants working at a port who face unfair layoffs. Speaking about their latest work, Kidjo, noted that even though the song primarily speaks about police brutality, it also touches on important aspects of life, such as treating each human being with Dignity.
"Many people think that police brutality only happens in America, but it's everywhere. This song is against brutality, but it's also about how we need to treat each other with Dignity, treat nature with Dignity, and treat ourselves with Dignity. Because if we can't see the Dignity that Mother Nature gave to all of us, then how can we walk tall?" Kidjo speaking on the duet and police brutality.
The new collaboration comes barely a year after Kidjo and Alade successfully collaborated on the acclaimed smash 'Shekere.'
It will be remembered that the #EndSARS campaign drew worldwide attention to Nigeria. With support from both international corporations and celebrities, it became the latest protest movement to attract solidarity globally – especially after security forces opened fire on unarmed protesters in Lekki, Lagos, on 20 October 2020, reportedly killing 12 people.
The SARS unit was disbanded on 11 October, but the campaign's momentum rolled on. Since the unit was dissolved, the hashtag – generating over 30 million tweets in the first 48 hours – was still trending in major cities worldwide.