A MUSIC and arts festival in memory of slain American journalist Daniel Pearl was held at Prince Edward High School in Harare last Sunday.
Over 20 musical groups and artists provided entertainment throughout the day. The event,
in its second year in Harare, was organised in cooperation with the US embassy public affairs section under the theme “Celebrating our diversity”.
“It is through (Daniel) Pearl’s inspiration that we are gathered here today as a way of expressing harmony and strong belief that human beings who believe in the value of life need to get together and help each other in order to solve the problems and challenges we face in today’s world,” said guest speaker Professor Fed Zindi.
Zindi, who also heads the Zimbabwe College of Music, emphasised the power of music in eliminating problems affecting the African continent.
“Pearl believed that cultural differences can be bridged through music and that music is a language that knows no boundaries. He was a great fan of jazz, classical, folk and blues music”, he added.
Several local music and dance artists put up first-calss performances at the event. Prominent among these were jazz musicians Bob Nyabinde, the Mbare Trio and Imbongi Jazz and Zimbabwe Music Awards 2006 winner, Jeys Marabini.
The official opening saw the five finalists of the CBZ A Academy competition, currently running on local television, perform a song on harmony. Traditional dance groups also performed at the occasion.
“Harmony for Humanity” is the name given to concerts celebrating Pearl’s life and legacy by the Daniel Pearl Foundation. Inspired by his life, the festival uses the universal language of music and art to diminish hatred, and instill respect for differences.
Pearl believed music could bridge the differences between people. In the spirit of his love of music and commitment to dialogue, the Daniel Pearl Foundation launched the first Daniel Pearl World Music Day on October 10, 2002, which would have been the journalists 39th birthday.
Pearl was a correspondent of the Wall Street Journal, Americaís largest financial and business newspaper. He was kidnapped on January 23, 2002 on his way to an interview with a so-called terrorist leader in Karachi, Pakistan.
Pleas for his release were made by his editor and his wife, who was pregnant with their son, Adam. After the terroristís demands were not met, Daniel was decapitated nine days after his capture. — Own Correspondent.