ANNIE LENNOX’S LEGACY

Singer and activist Annie Lennox believes in the power of education and its potential to change the world. Now, the diva wants to provide education for five million girls in the next five years.

Aired on October 18 and December 26, 2019.

TRANSCRIPT

SHE'S A DIVA, A ROCK ICON AND A PHILANTHROPIST.

ONE OF THE DEFINITIVE SINGING VOICE OF OUR GENERATION, ANNIE LENNOX HAS PROVIDED THE SOUNDTRACK TO MANY OF OUR LIFE, BUT THERE'S MUCH MORE TO THIS MUSIC LEGEND AND SHE'S GIVING BACK.

I RECENTLY HAD A CHANCE TO CATCH UP WITH MISS LENNOX WHO WAS HONORED AT THE CAMPAIGN FOR FEMALE EDUCATION'S 25th ANNIVERSARY GALA, AN INTERNATIONAL NON-PROFIT FOCUSED ON FEMALE EDUCATION AND LEADERSHIP.

ANNIE, I'D LOVE TO WELCOME YOU TO METROFOCUS.

THANK YOU FOR TAKING TIME OUT OF THIS AMAZING GALA TO SPEAK WITH US.

OH, MY GOODNESS.

IT'S SUCH A PLEASURE TO SPEAK TO YOU.

NO WORRIES ABOUT THE TIME.

YOU'RE BEING HONORED AT CAMP FED FOR THE ADVOCACY WORK YOU'VE BEEN DOING THROUGHOUT YOUR CAREER.

WHAT WAS IT THAT BROUGHT YOU TO ADVOCATING FOR WOMEN AND YOUNG GIRLS.

I THINK IT REALLY STARTED WHEN I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO GO TO COUNTRIES AND TO VISIT PROJECTS THAT WERE INITIATED BY ORGANIZATIONS LIKE OXFAM, COMIC RELIEF AND WITH NELSON MANDELA'S 4886 FOUNDATION BECAUSE IT TOOK ME TO MALAWI AND PARTS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA WHERE I SAW AND UNDERSTOOD THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIFE OF SO-CALLED WESTERN DEVELOPED COUNTRIES AND POORER COUNTRIES WHERE GIRLS DON'T EVEN GET THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE ON THE BOTTOMMOST WRUNG OF THE LADDER IN TERMS OF PERSONAL EMPOWERMENT, SOCIAL EMPOWERMENT, ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT.

I SAW A VERY DIFFERENT WAY OF LIFE FOR GIRLS.

I SAW GIRLS WHO WOULD BE PREGNANT AT THE AGE OF 12, 11 OR 12.

OH, MY GOODNESS.

AND HAVING REPRODUCTION GOING ON FOR MOST OF THEIR TEENAGE YEARS, AND NO OTHER OPPORTUNITIES.

I START TO UNDERSTAND THE DISEMPOWERMENT, AND IT WAS A THEME, AND I WAS SO AFFECTED BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, I JUST FEEL THAT AS THE SUFFRAGETTE MOVEMENT WAS ESTABLISHED SO MANY YEARS AGO THAT WE HAVE WORK TO DO AS WOMEN.

AFTER HAVING YOUR EYES OPENED TO ACTUALLY SEEING SOME OF THE PLIGHT OF YOUNG WOMEN AROUND THE WORLD YOU ACTUALLY CAME BACK AND STARTED YOUR OWN ORGANIZATION, CORRECT?

WE BECAME A CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION THREE YEARS AGO.

SO WE ARE A SMALL ORGANIZATION AND WE ARE VERY ASPIREANT.

WHETHER OR NOT WE HAVE MONEY IN THE BANK, WHETHER OR NOT WE ARE WELL KNOWN OR NOT, EACH ONE OF US CAN BE AN INFLUENCER IN THE WORLD AROUND US, AMONG OUR FRIENDS, OUR COMMUNITY, THE PEOPLE THAT WE WORK WITH.

IT ALL DEPENDS ON YOUR MINDSET, AND IF YOU HAVE THE SENSE OF WHAT IT IS LIKE FOR WOMEN AND GIRLS AROUND THE GLOBE.

YOU SEE SOME OF THE FACTS AND THEN YOU CAN UNDERSTAND WHAT FEMINISM IS REALLY ABOUT ON A GLOBAL SCALE.

THE POINT THAT YOU JUST MADE IS EACH ONE OF US CAN BE AN INFLUENCER AND WE LIVE IN THIS CULTURE RIGHT NOW THAT THANKS TO SOCIAL MEDIA, SO MANY OF US CAN BE SO FOCUSED ON HOW IT IS THAT WE CAN GET PER LIKES OR HOW IT IS THAT WE CAN GET SO POPULAR AND IT'S HARD TO HARNESS THAT FOR A POLICY.

IT'S MUCH MORE CHALLENGING.

I'M ON INSTAGRAM.

IT'S NOT WITH THE SOCIAL CONNECTION AND IT'S JUST I LIKE TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS, AND I LOVE IMAGERY AND THEN I POST SOMETHING AND MAYBE OCCASIONALLY, I'LL DROP SOMETHING IN ABOUT GLOBAL FEMINISM, ABOUT SOME INJUSTICE AND ABOUT RAISING AWARENESS AND POVERTY, FOR EXAMPLE, WHATEVER IT IS.

I HAVE A SMALL PLATFORM THERE.

IT'S RELATIVELY SMALL.

IF I WRITE SOMETHING ABOUT A BEAUTIFUL FLOWER, THERE WILL BE 20,000 LIKES, LET'S SAY.

OKAY.

IF I WRITE ANYTHING ABOUT SOCIAL JUSTICE IT DROPS DOWN TO ABOUT 2,000, AND I FIND THAT VERY INTERESTING.

IT'S AS IF PEOPLE ACTUALLY DON'T REALLY LIKE TO BE AS AWARE AS I DO ABOUT WHAT I'M PASSIONATE ABOUT.

I NOTICE THAT SOMETIMES PEOPLE CAN ALMOST FEEL AWARENESS WITH YOU OR SOMETHING.

SOMETIMES THESE PROBLEM IS DAUNTING AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO.

I UNDERSTAND YOU STEPPED AWAY FOR A THE WHILE TO FOCUS ON YOUR FAMILY.

HOW INTEGRATED IS THAT INTO THE WORK THAT YOU'RE DOING NOW?

BECOMING A MOTHER WAS A LIFE-CHANGING AND IS A LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE FOR ANY WOMAN.

IT'S A TIME WHEN YOU ACTUALLY REALIZE IN A PROFOUND WAY THAT THE WORLD DOES NOT SPIN AROUND YOU, THAT IT NOW MUST REALLY REVOLVE AROUND A VERY, VERY VULNERABLE, YOUNG BABY THAT YOU ARE COMPLETELY RESPONSIBLE FOR IN EVERY SINGLE WAY AND THEN IT IS SO HUMANIZING, IT'S SUCH AN EQUALIZER BECAUSE THEN YOU GO FOR A WALK IN THE PARK AND YOU'RE PUSHING YOUR BABY IN THE STROLLER AND YOU SEE ALL BEHM IN DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES AND ON I ASK YOU THE SAME THING.

WHY HERE TONIGHT?

WELL, THEY'RE HAVING THE OK OCCASION OF THEIR 25th ANNIVERSARY AND ONE NGO STARTS WITH ONE ASPIREANT PERSON AND TO THINK THIS ONE PERSON BEGAN THIS ORGANIZATION IT HAS CONTINUED FOR 25 YEARS AND NOW THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF GIRLS IN AFRICA THAT ARE CHAMPIONS AND LEADERS IN THEIR FIELD BECAUSE THEY RECEIVED AN EDUCATION THAT ARE GOING TO NOW LIKE LITTLE SEED, MULTIPLY.

THERE IS A HUGE, HUGE CHALLENGE, A LACK OF EDUCATION AND EDUCATION IS THE KEY, FOR ANY KIND OF IMPROVEMENT AND ANY KIND OF DEVELOPMENT, WOMEN ARE THE KEY.

GIRLS ARE THE KEY.

THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE FUNDAMENTAL.

SO THE FACT THAT CAMP FED IS HERE, CELEBRATING 25 YEARS AND CELEBRATING ALL THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS AND GOING FORWARD INTO THE FUTURE WHERE THEY'RE HOPING TO ACTUALLY REACH 5 MILLION GIRLS OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS.

OH, MY GOD, THAT'S AMAZING.

THAT IS THE GOAL.

AND THOSE GIRLS WILL MULTIPLY, THEY WILL SUPPORT MAYBE THREE GIRLS TO EACH ONE.

SO IN THIS WAY, YOU CAN SEE IT SPREAD.

WHAT I'M VERY EXCITED ABOUT IS THE FUTURE GENERATION OF YOUNG WOMEN COMING UP.

I THINK YOU WILL SEE VERY ARTICULATE, EMPOWERED, YOUNG, AFRICAN WOMEN REPRESENTING THEIR COMMUNITIES, THEIR COUNTRY AND THAT'S WHAT WE NEED TO SEE.

THAT SOUNDS LIKE THE PERFECT KIND OF ORGANIZATION THAT FITS IN WITH YOUR PAGS THAT YOU'VE BEEN SHARING SO ELOQUENTLY.

LISTEN, ANNIE.

I THANK YOU FOR SITTING DOWN WITH US AND I HAVE BEEN A FAN FOR SO ROM, BUT UPONING YOU ITTIC MAKES YOU EVEN MORE OF A DIVA IN MY EYES.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

I HOPE I'M NOT TOO MUCH OF A DIVA.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

♪♪

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, The Peter G. Peterson and Joan Ganz Cooney Fund, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, The Ambrose Monell Foundation, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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