“We want peace”: about fifteen Ivorian musicians, including stars like Molare, Ariel Sheney and Bebi Philip launched a song on Wednesday to call for an end to electoral unrest in Côte d’Ivoire.
“You are from the South, I am from the North, it doesn’t change anything, you are my brother. He is from the West, you are from the Center, it doesn’t change anything, we are Ivorians”, sing the artists brought together by DJ Lewis , initiator of the project.
Their goal is to ease tensions that have left at least 85 dead and nearly 500 injured since August, especially in intercommunal clashes linked to the October 31 presidential election.
“I wanted to make a song to say no to what we saw coming: civil war, intercommunity, interreligious”, explained during a press conference in Abidjan DJ Lewis, musician of “coupé-shifted”, the most fashionable style in Ivory Coast.
“We have already experienced this in 2010”, during the post-electoral crisis which left 3,000 dead, he recalls.
“We want peace in Ivory Coast, we no longer want war in our country,” resumed in chorus Abou Nidal, Affou Keita (the only woman in the group), Didier Bile, Jim Kamson and the others.
To give maximum impact to the message, the musicians come from all regions of the country, are of several religions and sing in several local languages (besides French). They also represent all the great musical styles: cut-off, zouglou, reggae, rap and variety.
“In the Ivory Coast, artists are more respected than politicians, the population listens to us,” assured the star of the cut-off Molare.
After the launch of the clip, the group is due to give concerts all over the country, especially in areas affected by the unrest in the Center. The schedule is not yet fixed, but the tour will be done “as quickly as possible”, according to DJ Lewis.
The unrest subsided for a week with the start of a dialogue between the government and the opposition, but the political crisis is not resolved.
“Politicians must disarm their hearts so that Côte d’Ivoire remains in peace and social cohesion”, pleaded the singer Abou Nidal.
The star group Magic System, accompanied by many artists, had already given a series of concerts as part of a “peace caravan” in Côte d’Ivoire before the presidential election.