US music maestro, Jack Alison, in collaboration with YONECO Children’s Band, has recorded a song about the dangers of Child Marriage which is one of the most persistent brutal child rights violations in Malawi.
The two-minute song titled ‘Girls Not Brides’ enlightens the Malawi society that a girl child is cable of achieving great things and child marriage is one of her major obstacles. The song further talks about the hardships which girls encounter when they are forced into marriage at a tender age. Jack Alison and the members of YONECO Children’s Band skillfully fuse Chichewa and English verses in a very captivating way.
The bilingual aspect has a curtaining charm that forces one to sing along. The song, which is yet to be released, promises to become one of the best theme songs against child marriage in Malawi and other parts of the world. Jack Alison took Malawi’s audience by storm in the 1960s when he came as an American Peace Corps Volunteer and released several social development songs in Malawi’s vernacular – Chichewa. Jack’s songs like ‘Ufa wa Mtedza’, and ‘Chiwewe’ promoted nutrition and vaccination of dogs against rabies and progressive agricultural practices. This time around, Jack has come with the Fulbright Association.
On the other hand, YONECO children’s Band is part of a social rehabilitation tool which YONECO uses in the process of incorporating children who are withdrawn from the streets back into to the community. The children are linked to various Youth Drop-in Centres which the institution has and are enrolled in various schools that are within their vicinities.
YONECO is a member of Girls Not Brides network which is a global partnership of more than 1000 civil society organizations from over 95 countries that are committed to ending child marriage and enabling girls to fulfil their potential. Currently, YONECO, with support from Simavi, is implementing a project titled Marriage: No Child’s Play in three district of Malawi where child marriage is rampant.