ILRAJ PRESENTS SING4JUSTICE: A SINGING COMPETITION BASED ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND JUSTICE
December 16, 2021
It was a grand, talented and joy filled affair at the #Sing4Justice fundraising dinner and dance held on Thursday 9th December 2021 at the Prestigious Lagoonda Conference Hall.
The event was organised by The Institute for Legal Research and Advocacy for Justice (ILRAJ) – they brought together over 40 talented young Sierra Leoneans in a Singing Competition based on human rights and justice.
ILRAJ aims to understand, explore, evaluate, shape policy, advance practice and strengthen the rule of law and accountability in order to make the promotion of and respect for human rights a part of our culture.
The ILRAJ aims to address inequalities and protect, promote and entrench human rights, its values and freedoms through the provision of training, education, dissemination of information, litigation, pro bono legal counsel, research, internship, activism and advocacy. It also seeks to empower women, youths and the vulnerable, disadvantaged and marginalized by emphasizing on participation, non-discrimination, empowerment and respect for human rights.
ILRAJ believes in the universality and inalienability of human rights, the indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of these rights, and the basic premise of equality over discrimination.
The Institute for Legal Research and Advocacy for Justice was instrumental in the advocacy efforts for the abolition of the death penalty. In recent times, they collaborated with NAMATI to advocate for the residents of Black Johnson on land rights and environmental justice. In October 2021, they released a position paper on the Gender Empowerment Bill 2021 and have ongoing advocacy on constitutional reform.
During their advocacy and public policy interventions, the organisation realized that there is a need to popularize and help build a culture of human rights. As a result, to get young Sierra Leoneans, most of whom are passionate about music, to learn more about human rights, they decided to host a competition titled “Sing for Justice.”
Participants in the competition sang original songs based on the theme of law, justice and human rights. The Five judges listed below, supported with selecting finalists:
Dr. Kitty Fadlu – Deen (Music Educator)
Ibrahim Bangura Esq. aka Beloz (Entertainer, Lawyer, Governance Specialist)
Fantacee Wiz (Folk Singer, Poet, filmmaker and Activist)
Drucil Taylor Esq. (Lawyer and Music Enthusiast)
Antonia Howard (Journalist and Music Enthusiast)
The Judges, shortlisted the top 20 participants and AYV TV showcased them: their pictures, biodata and clips with a coding system set up by Africell Sierra Leone. The public were asked to vote for the final top 10. On the day of the final event, the top 10 finalists sang their hearts out with brilliance and passion to a panel of judges who decided who the top two winners were. Cash prizes were awarded to the top two finalists with interludes of music from professional artists with a sumptuous three-course dinner.
The winning prizes were packages of Le 10,000,000 for the winner and Le 5,000,000 for the runner up.
All participants wrote original songs, with the help of esteemed judges and the public , 10 finalists performed live to a well informed audience from all works of life with guests such as Mayor Yvonne Aki- Sawyerr, Mr. Martin Michael- MD of Mercury International and Chairman of ILRAJ, Madam Lara Taylor – Pearce, Madam Yasmin Jusu- Sheriff Esq, Mr. Anthony Navo – Jnr ( Founder of African Young Voices TV), Asmaa James, Shadi Gerjawi MD- Africell SL, Mr Umaru Fofana (renowned Sierra Leonean – Journalist), Madam Naasu Fofanah, Dr. Ekundayo Walton Gilpin – MD Rokel Commercial Bank, Madam Marcella Samba and members of Power Women 232.
The atmosphere was electric with professional acts from The Cow Foot Prince – Usifu Jalloh, Sierra Leone’s acclaimed Story Teller, Drizilik an Internationally acclaimed Sierra Leonean Artist with Richie Obama ~ his comedy style is one in a million, Madam Nicky Spencer – Coker Esq. was the Mistress of Ceremony and she steered the event gracefully.
Sing4Justice owes this stellar performance to our sponsors: Mercury International, Eminence, Africell, African Young Voices (AYV TV) , Home Living Furniture, Rokel Commercial Bank, Sky Bar, CTC, Mega Cola and PrintPoint.
May we continue to stand for Justice beyond the International Human Rights Day and unto every cadre of our beloved Sierra Leone.