The Star (Nairobi)

22 February 2013

Kenya: Wainaina, Owiyo Named UNEP Goodwill Ambassadors

Photo: Suzanna Owiyo/Facebook
Suzanna Owiyo

Eric Wainaina and Suzanna Owiyo were yesterday named the UNEP Goodwill Ambassadors at the launch of the latest report on the state of Africa's environment.

The two Kenyan Afro-fusion singers, pledged to use their music and high profiles to ignite positive environmental action as they are designated National Goodwill Ambassadors for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

The designation coincides with the launch of Africa Environment Outlook 3 - a report which focuses on the links between environment and health issues and details the current state of play across the continent.

Eric is known for his hit songs Kenya Only, Nchi ya Kitu Kidogo and Sawa Sawa . But above all he is known for speaking out about corruption and social ills. He was given an escopetarra - a guitar made from a modified gun, used as a peace symbol - in 2008 to honour his appointment as a UNODC Messenger of Non-Violence.

Suzanna's Kisumu 100 brought her to the lime light under the guidance of a Tedd Josiah. The album became a great success and she received a nomination in the Kora Music Awards 2002 in the "Most Promising Female Artist" category. She was also nominated and won the same category in the Kisima Awards of 2003. In June 2008, she performed at the Nelson Mandela Concert in Hyde Park, London in honor of his 90th birthday and fundraiser for his Aids awareness campaign.

Suzanna mobilised prominent women in Kenya to participate in a mock boxing tournament fundraiser. The fundraiser was in support of Conjestina, who is the first African woman to win an International Boxing Match and she is ranked 5th in the World.

She is currently involved with Plan International, a four-year Global Campaign known as "Because I Am A Girl".

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