African Press International (API)

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Gidi heights: UNEP musician wins social responsibility award

Posted by African Press International on September 16, 2007

Posted by Ndebele Okoth

Jospeh Ogdi Oyoo, known as Gidi Gidi on Kenyas music scene, was welcomed with cheers at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi on Monday. Over the weekend, the 28-year-old web developer, who works in the Internet Unit/Division of Communications and Public Information (DCPI), won the Social Responsibility Award at the Kisima Awards ceremony, East Africas annual music-biz bash. Gidis song Wanaume Ibilisi (“Some men are satanic,” in Kiswahili) is a powerful condemnation of sexual offences and rape.

Men lack respect, This behaviour of rape, Shows how we can be satanic, goes the song, which was written last year and performedat the UN Kenya person of the year 2006 ceremony in honour ofone of Kenya’s Members of Parliament, Ms. Njoki Ndungu, who actively fought for the adoption of Kenya’s Sexual Offences Act.I offered her the award because she has been very active.

Thanks to her efforts, the bill was passed, in spite of the opposition of many male MPs, said a happy Gidi. The song, voted by listeners on the internet and by text message (SMS) as the best in its category, faced tough competition from other songs about HIV/AIDSand corruption. This is a sign that Kenyan musicians should come up with music that informs, educates, initiates positive behavior in society and raises awareness, added Gidi.Gidi is not a newcomer on the music scene. With 10 year’s musical experience under his belt, three albums, and several Kisima awards, his name features regularly in the charts.

When they hear his rhythm, Kenyans can hit the dance floor but also get a chance to reflect on serious issues at the same time.His winning song, with a hit video clip featuring Mrs. Ndungu herself, has not yet been released commercially. Its not my intention to make money out of it, but to promote awareness, Gidi insists. Now that it has been recognized by the East African music world, Gidi says hes willing to release it on the market as long as the funds go to a good cause.
MajiMaji, Prof Adams Solomon, a Kenyan International Artist living in Toronto, Canada, GidiGidi, Rev Okoth Otura and Deborah Cooper Otura at Toronto down town 2006 during their tour in Canada.

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