Jamaican Youth Win LIVE UP I Like Muhself Radio Song Contest

Jamaica, Haiti and St. Lucia copped the top 5 positions in the just-concluded ‘LIVE UP I Like Muhself’ Caribbean Radio Song Contest. The Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS (CBMP) in association with Population Services International Caribbean (PSI/C) supported by PANCAP and the German Government (KfW), launched the contest on June 18th and ended on August 28th 2013. The top entries came from young people aged 18 to 24 years, across 12 Caribbean countries including Haiti, Suriname and the Dominican Republic. These young people sparkled with talent as they created songs that expressed their views on ways to empower young people to combat HIV and AIDS infection and stigma across the region.

With a strong emphasis on the song and not the singer, the Jamaica Youth Theatre’s song ‘Wi Love Wiself’ was chosen as the winning song, followed closely by Sanjay Thompson’s song “SANJ: LOVE, PROTECT, RESPECT MYSELF” and Haiti’s Asanim with her song ‘ABA” taking the third spot.

The winning song “Wi Love WiSelf” is an expression in song by the Jamaica Youth Theatre. They believe that the Caribbean can realize the vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.”Wi Love WiSelf” is a collaboration by members of the Jamaica Youth Theatre led by Akeem Mignott and Danar Royal and performed by Akeem Mignott, Darian Reid, Chantae Martin, Shola Collins and Monique Smith. The group said they felt ‘inspired’ by this win. [1st Place: http://youtu.be/jeGyCCAldcE]

Sanjay Thompson describes his thinking behind his song that placed second as a vibrant West Indian themed song to engage Caribbean youth, through music, in the drive to loving, protecting and respecting themselves. In doing so they will easily understand how risks of HIV and other STD’s can affect them. Primarily, in order to love others you must first love yourself, as such ‘I like myself’ is embedded in the chorus where listeners are told that using a condom and protecting yourself shows self love and respect. (Use a condom cause’ I like muhself). Gaining a greater respect for your body and its well being will allow you to respect others no matter their health status, or lifestyle choices. LIVE UP is greatly identified in the final verse where listeners are told to be ‘young wise and strong’ and take a stand to love one another. This was inspired by regional HIV documentaries and corresponds with the CBMP objectives. [2nd Place http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx1zShW9VRI]

Representing the non-English speaking Caribbean the third placed song came from Haiti and encourages us to stop all the discrimination.[ 3rd Place : http://youtu.be/MVu_HEaPIhM]

Here is how they placed and what they won.

1st PLACE ‘Wi Love Wiself’ – by Jamaica Youth Theatre

1st Prize – USD $2,500.00
A professional audio recording of the song
A professional Music Video of the song
A GOT IT? GET IT. T-shirt, Tote Bag, pocket mirror and Wrist Band
CBMP Executive Pen with 2GB Flash Drive

2nd PLACE ‘Love, Protect, Respect Myself’ by Sanjay Thompson

2nd Prize – USD $2,000.00
A GOT IT? GET IT. T-shirt, Tote Bag, pocket mirror and Wrist Band
CBMP Executive Pen with 2GB Flash Drive

3rd PLACE ‘ABA’- by Asanim 3rd Prize – USD $1,000.00
A GOT IT? GET IT. T-shirt, Tote Bag, pocket mirror and Wrist Band
CBMP Executive Pen with 2GB Flash Drive

4th PLACE “HIV and AIDS Policy”- by Vincenzo Crawford 4th Prize – A LIVE UP T-Shirt
A GOT IT? GET IT. T-shirt, Tote Bag, pocket mirror and Wrist Band
CBMP Executive Pen with 2GB Flash Drive

5th PLACE ‘Reality‘- by Nicole Jeanelle Bowers 5th Prize – A LIVE UP T-Shirt
A GOT IT? GET IT. T-shirt, Tote Bag, pocket mirror and Wrist Band
CBMP Executive Pen with 2GB Flash Drive

The blue ribbon judging panel was headed by Grammy nominated Musician and Award-winning Producer Nicholas Brancker and consisted of regional media, HIV and music experts. It included international artiste and LIVE UP Champion Tanya Stephens; Caribbean Entertainment Executive, HIV Champion and Marketing Expert Richard Haynes who heads South Central Entertainment,; Population Services International (PSI) who supported this project and assisted with multilingual participation were represented by Engels Guzman of PSI/Dominican Republic; Oye Adeniyi of PSI/Suriname and Mario LaMothe of PSI/Haiti. Extensive media and translation support in Haiti was provided by CBMP partners CECOSIDA who coordinate 26 of CBMP’s broadcast members in Haiti. The Radio Song Contest is open to 18-24 year-old non-professionals resident in Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago.

This competition follows the highly successful Man-a-Man competition also supported by PSI/C, held in Jamaica last year and is an initiative aligned with PSI/C and CBMP’s ongoing efforts to contribute to the improvement of sexual and reproductive health in general and particularly to the reduction of the transmission rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections in the Caribbean.

The PSI/C Executive Director Marina Hilaire-Bartlett had this to say about the winning songs:
“This song competition was an exciting opportunity for us to get young people speaking more about taking charge of their health in a way that resonates most with them and with us as Caribbean people – through the language of music. Congratulations to the winners from Jamaica, St. Lucia and Haiti, as well as the other artists who worked hard to make the competition a success. We look forward to having the winning song reach audiences across the world to inspire positive and lasting change for our youth”.

“ We are always energised when we work with innovation and these entries showed us what our young Caribbean people can do. The selection of the youtube channel for submissions of the entries proved very effective in engaging our Facebook audience and increasing our reach. The winning videos are therefore valuable social media products that will be disseminated on line and via mass media through our 112 member stations across 24 countries.” Says Dr. Allyson Leacock, Executive Director of the CBMP.

The ‘LIVE UP I Like Muhself’ winning songs viral component will be showcased on YouTube with the top five finalists’ submissions being uploaded to Facebook and the public having the opportunity to vote for the “People’s Choice Award’. The winning song is being professionally recorded and will also have a professional music video made that will be officially released on World AIDS Day December 1, 2013 across the Caribbean and the diaspora via CBMP member CMC and shared with the CBMP 112 member stations in 24 Caribbean countries. The contest featured a jingle customised by Lil Rick himself who allowed the contest to be named after his very powerful song ‘I Like Muhself’ that promotes safe sex practices as well as a strong sense of self worth.

In the Caribbean region, the global health organization Population Services International (PSI) operates through its affiliate PSI/Caribbean (PSI/C). Since 2005, PSI/C – a non-pro?t social marketing organization – has been working to measurably contribute to the development of favourable environments that facilitate healthy lives among the people of the Caribbean.

PSI/C’s work involves using commercial sector techniques to promote healthier behaviours as well as greater availability of and access to key health information, products and services, especially for low income and high-risk populations. PSI/C is supported by the KfW Entwicklungsbank (German Development Bank) and American Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP) and is locally integrated in twelve countries across the region. Internationally connected through PSI’s global network, PSI/C is able to develop highly innovative and effective social marketing programs around priority health issues in the Caribbean.

PSI/C began its work focusing on HIV prevention with its popular Got it? Get it campaign – promoting condom use and availability. The organization has since expanded its activities into addressing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) more broadly and continues to grow with the health challenges faced by the region, looking at ways to assist in addressing growing health priorities in non-communicable disease prevention.

Find more information on PSI/C at www.psicaribbean.org

Established in 2006, the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS (CBMP) unites 112 top broadcasters from 24 territories in the region’s first coordinated media response to the HIV pandemic. The Partnership creates a structured framework for sharing information and resources among broadcasters that significantly expands HIV/AIDS-related programming and public education activities across the Caribbean. Member broadcasters deliver HIV/AIDS information across a variety of platforms and formats, including targeted public service announcements (PSAs), entertainment programming, news and public affairs programming, and online resources.

In 2007, the CBMP launched LIVE UP – the Caribbean’s first media-led regional initiative that links people together with one message of hope and possibility and inspires everyone to consider what is within their power to stem the spread of HIV/AIDS. The CBMP is the regional action arm of the Global Media AIDS Initiative (www.thegmai.org), a U.N.-supported effort conceived by the Kaiser Family Foundation in partnership with UNAIDS to mobilize the world’s media in response to AIDS.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and The Ford Foundation are supporting partners of the CBMP.

Find more information on the CBMP at http://www.cbmphiv.org and to learn more about LIVE UP and the LIVE UP campaign you may visit http://www.iliveup.com

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