“Together, let us work together and build our nation.”
These are part of the lyrics to the new hit single by legendary South Sudanese singer, Emmanuel Kembe.
“I must admit, it’s a very catchy tune,” said Leni Kinzli, a Public Information Officer working at the Torit Field Office of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
UNMISS’ Communications and Public Information Section staff from across the country were treated to an exclusive performance by Mr Kembe and other local artists, including rapper Khawaja Revolution and comedian V.I.P., during a training session held at UN House in Juba.
The purpose of the star-studded workshop was to get inspiration on how to promote and explain the peacekeeping mission’s mandate in an effective, engaging way that may even let target audiences have a good laugh while learning.
The peacekeeping mission has gradually increased its engagement of local artists to help spread proactive and potentially lifesaving messages of peace and reconciliation.
“These artists are big names in the entertainment industry of South Sudan, and they have a big influence on their audiences, especially the youth,” said Hiroyuki Saito, Head of the Mission’s Outreach Unit.
“Arts and humour can be effective ways of reaching and touching people with important messages. The people don’t just hear the message, but they feel it through its artistic or comedic appeal, which tends to have a more lasting impact on the audiences,” he added.
In his poetry, Khawaja Revolution encouraged listeners to tune into the nationwide UNMISS radio station, Radio Miraya.
“Listen to 101 Radio Miraya FM, Miraya is great. Listen to 101 Radio Miraya FM, Miraya is great.”
Prominent comedian V.I.P had the audience in stitches as he dropped his latest jokes.
“I teach people about the UNMISS mandate through my jokes,” said V.I.P. “I’m happy that I can educate people about peace and make them laugh at the same time.”