Yemi Alade: ‘I’m pleased to be part of the energy train’

The Nigerian singer talks innovation, collaboration – and why the Shell #makethefuture initiative is so close to her heart

Written by Rosalie Cabison • December 24, 2016

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“In my music, I try to encourage people to look at the innovative side of life,” afro-pop singer Yemi Alade said recently, when talking about her support of the Shell #makethefuture campaign. The 2015 winner of the MTV Africa Music Award for Best Female Artist has joined Shell to bring bright energy innovations to communities around the world that will help to provide more reliable access to energy.

The journey has taken her from the campaign’s launch in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil back to her home continent where she has visited a new community center in Nairobi, Kenya. Thanks to the help of GravityLights the community center now provides local children with a safe place to gather and study after school.

The next stop was the Daraja Academy outside of Nanyuki, a school for Kenyan girls, where Yemi was able to meet the students and find out how the girls are being empowered through education. Shell plans to further improve the Daraja Academy by building a science laboratory and furnishing new research equipment, increasing the school’s ability to provide practical science experience. This is another step in encouraging today’s youth to become tomorrow’s leaders through science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education—an initiative that singer Alade enthusiastically supports.

Thanks to GravityLight, students will be able to study after the sun has set—alleviating an issue that Alade remembers well from her days growing up in Nigeria. “For many years as a girl,” Alade said in an interview, “I had to use candles and kerosene lamps for hours while studying at night. Now with GravityLight, people have a safer way to study and families can have quality time in evenings.”

Alade is one of six artists to team up with the Shell #makethefuture initiative. Her fellow ambassadors include Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson, DJ/producer Steve Aoki, Brazilian singer Luan Santana, Britain’s Pixie Lott and Chinese superstar Tan Weiwei. Together, they created a collaborative music video to kick off the Shell #makethefuture campaign in September. The video has already attracted more than 250 million views around the world. See the music video for yourself - watch the music video here.

Click here to follow the GravityLight relay as it progresses through Kenya, and keep up with the #makethefuture campaign as it looks to bring more, cleaner energy to communities around the world.

Sources: Yemi Alade Vevo. "Johnny." Online video clip. YouTube. Google, 18 Apr. 2014. Web. 22 Nov. 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_XkTKoDI18.

"Shell, Yemi Alade partner for bright energy ideas." SweetCrude Reports. N.p., Nov. 2016 Web. 12 Dec. 2016. http://sweetcrudereports.com/2016/11/27/shell-yemi-alade-partner-for-bright-energy-ideas/.

"GravityLight Research Across Kenya." The Gravity Foundation. N.p., 22 Sept. 2016 Web. 22 Nov. 2016. http://gravitylight.org/blog/satlights.

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