Angélique Kidjo Challenges Media Sensationalism with New Anchor Role

Angelique Kidjo_Photo credit_Gilles Marie Zimmerman-min

On the “A” w/Souleo

Singer, songwriter, and activist Angélique Kidjo is used to being in front of the camera. After all, just this past February she appeared on the Grammy stage to accept the award for Best World Music Album for her 2014 release, Eve, her third honor for her critically acclaimed music. On Friday, March 18th, she steps in front of the camera as a news anchor for 21ème Siècle (21st Century), a monthly magazine series produced by United Nations Television and TV5Monde. Kidjo was motivated to be part of the series due to her humanitarian work for over a decade as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

“What I learned as UNICEF Ambassador is one child at a time,” she said. “On my first trip I saw the magnitude of what happens. It makes you want to help people all at once but you don’t have that power. So you take one child at a time. You change one life and that life will change another life.”

During this season of the series, Kidjo hopes to illuminate the complex nuances of various stories such as the plight of migrants and refugees in Italy, the rise of teenage pregnancy in the Dominican Republic, and descendants of slaves in Brazil fighting for land rights. Kidjo believes the show fills a void that mainstream media overlooks due to a focus on sensationalism.

“Every story told in the world has different sides. In this show you hear from many voices and it gives you a larger and bigger picture of a story than any other news outlet. News is not entertainment. If it becomes entertainment we take out the heart and substance of a story. Now everything has basically become entertainment across the board.”

The weekly column, On the “A” w/Souleo, covers the intersection of the arts, culture entertainment and philanthropy in Harlem and beyond and is written by Souleo, founder and president of event/media content production company, Souleo Enterprises, LLC.

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