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“Love, Peace and Order”: Chemphe and AAYMCA mix music and technology for innovative

By Christine Davis - Africa Alliance of YMCAs' volunteer
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African-wide youth development organisation, the Africa Alliance of YMCAs' (AAYMCA), has teamed up with popular Ghanaian musician Chemphe (pronounced Chem-fe), to launch their new From Subject 2 Citizen (4rmS2C) social media initiative.

The S2C initiative stands as one of the AAYMCAs' most ambitious youth development projects, with activities designed to ensure youth have the skills and confidence to influence decision-makers to make positive changes for young people at community, country or continental level.

The overall purpose of the project is to change the positioning of African youth from being subject to various forms of control, manipulation and abuse, to being active citizens and agents of change in their communities.

Chemphe, an award winning RnB singer, song writer, producer and creator of the Urban Life music brand from a fusion of RnB vocals and the grooves of Ghana, will work closely with youth from 12 African countries at a workshop to be held on 3-4 May in Accra, Ghana. Together they will develop a song chorus as a means of communicating the S2C message of youth civic competence which will be posted onto YouTube.

As Gil Harper, Executive Secretary for the AAYMCA explains, “Using song and social media to popularise S2C will provide these youth with the platform to communicate their vision, concerns and ideas to an international audience”.

For Chemphe, “The concept is laudable and has the potential of shaping the thinking and attitude of African youth for the better. This has been one of my dreams ever since I started music. I know with my involvement, I will be a part of the process to make African youth stand up, work hard and be very successful where ever they find themselves”.

Music was a crucial part of Chemphe's youth but he openly acknowledges the difficulty the youth face in entering the musical arena, “There is a lot of space for Africa's youth to enter music but it's quite difficult because our continent has the poorest investment in music which in turn makes it hard for the youth to be successful. With determination from Africa's youth, we can work hard and be where we want to be”.

At the heart of this project is the potential for the S2C song, through its messages, to bridge boundaries between cultures and peoples. Chemphe's pride in the power of his craft and the possibilities it presents as a tool of social cohesion is clear, “Since music is one of the major sources of information and inspiration, positive lyrics can reshape and rebuild our society and culture so the youth can have a deeper and clearer understanding of it”.

For more information on Chemphe's music go to: http://www.youtube.com/user/chemphe

This article is part of the Africa Alliance of YMCAs' news service. For more information go to: www.africaymca.org