I’ve been busy working with friends from around the world on a new anthology to be launched next month. Song Of Sahel brings together some of the artists who collaborated on Every Child Is Entitled to Innocence as well as many new and interesting artists. Song Of Sahel is unique as it is not merely poetry and prose but will include paintings, artwork, music and photography along with poetry and prose. Song Of Sahel will be published by Plum Tree Books as a multi-media kindle and will be available on Amazon. Proceeds of the sales will go to SOS Sahel, an NGO working in the Sahel region of Africa.
The Song Of Sahel is yet another brainchild of my friend Dr. Niamh Clune. A month ago Niamh decided to bring together a group of artists to produce this unique anthology to help raise awareness and the much needed funds to help the people of the Sahel. Spurred by a poem about the plight of the people in the Sahel by Wayne Tolbert one of our gifted poets, the Song Of Sahel was born.
Why in the world the Sahel? You may ask. And here’s the reason.
Millions of people are affected daily by adverse weather conditions around the world. Yet none are harsher than the severe drought prevailing in the Sahel – a narrow band of semi arid land south of the Sahara. Encompassing countries such as Senegal, Mali, Burkino Faso and Niger the Sahel once boasted of some of Africa’s most influential civilizations. It is today one of the poorest and most environmentally damaged places on earth.
Soil erosion, deforestation, insufficient irrigation, desertification, drought and overpopulation are just some of the problems faced by the people of the Sahel. The incomes of the people have reduced and finding food has become a luxury. Many people are forced to eke out a living outside of their traditional occupations of herding and farming drawing them to the cities where overpopulation creates a whole new set of problems. And as always it’s the children that get affected the most.
Aid agencies based in the Sahel region are working nonstop to help alleviate the suffering of the people of the Sahel. But are we to leave the work to aid agencies alone? Do we merely give a few coins in support to whatever charity and then turn away hoping they do the needful? No. As artists we need to do more. Much more. We may not be able to give much in terms of money but we can together give our talents to make money that will feed the hungry and buy books for the children.
We can help and together we can make a difference.
I ask you, writers, poets, painters, photographers, bards, singers, songwriters, musicians and the occasional town crier to join in with us and help make a difference, even a slight difference in the lives of these people.
You can contribute anything, the only criteria is that it has to be about the Sahel region. Song Of Sahel already includes artists from around the world – from the UK, US, Ireland, Spain, Sri Lanka, Canada, South America, India and Australia who have joined to raise awareness of the plight of the people living in the Sahel.
We are accepting submission until August 15, so hurry and send them in. You can contact us via www.ontheplumtree.wordpress.com on how to make a submission or how to link with us.
Song Of Sahel will be launched worldwide on September 15 at
You can meet some of the artists involved in the project, listen to music composed especially for the event and hear live recordings of some of the poems submitted. You can also listen to a radio broadcast. The event begins at 10 am GMT and will continue round the clock until 10 am the following day.
I look forward to meeting you.