Singer Angélique Kidjo: The Women of Africa Are Paying the Price of Climate Change

StorySeptember 22, 2014
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Angélique Kidjo

Grammy-award singer from Benin and an ambassador for UNICEF and Oxfam

As up to 400,000 filled the streets, Democracy Now! did an exclusive three-hour global broadcast from the heart of the People’s Climate March in New York City. We air highlights of the special, beginning with the Grammy Award–winning Béninoise musician and activist Angélique Kidjo.

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Yes, we did an exclusive global three-hour broadcast on television, radio and the Internet Sunday from right where the march began. Guests included the Grammy Award-winning musician Angélique Kidjo.

ANGÉLIQUE KIDJO: I was born in Benin, West Africa, and raised there. And every time I go back, all the time I hear from the women that sell their goods in the market how hard it is for them to have more and more goods to sell because the climate is changing and the tomatoes don’t ripen at the same time. The corn don’t—I mean, it’s just that, nonstop. Who are paying the price of climate change? The women of Africa. They are the one that cook the food. They are the one that make the balance between the family, the community and their own children. And the scarcity of food is also linked to climate change. How are we going to feed the next generation? Agriculture is becoming more and more complicated. We have so much drought. We don’t have the food that we need, enough food to sustain our life.

AMY GOODMAN: Is there any chance you could sing a song a cappella for our viewers and listeners all over the country and all over the world?

ANGÉLIQUE KIDJO: Well, probably.

AMY GOODMAN: Maybe if you look over—

ANGÉLIQUE KIDJO: We’ll do that.

AMY GOODMAN: Look into this camera.


AMY GOODMAN: And here’s the microphone. You can hold it.

ANGÉLIQUE KIDJO: So, I will sing the first song I sang when I was six years old, where we use the drum to invite everybody to come and listen to a message and to be part of that message and to be part of the change. So it goes like this: [singing] Thank you so much.

AMY GOODMAN: Grammy Award-winning musician Angélique Kidjo, also an Oxfam ambassador. We’ll go to break with her, and then more voices from the march. Finally, the foundation world is beginning to divest from fossil fuel companies. We’ll bring you more. Stay with us.


AMY GOODMAN: Angélique Kidjo, performing for us during Democracy Now!'s live broadcast from the People's Climate March on Sunday in here in New York City. This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. She is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador as well as an Oxfam representative to the world.

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