ACHIEVING MASS PARTICIPATION IN THE 17 SDGs THROUGH MASS AWARENESS CREATION AND SCHOLARSHIP IN MUSIC AND BOOKS: the Anthony Agada Story on SDGs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 & 17.
It was the UNDP Administrator, Helen Clark who said inter alia, “Sustainable development in the 21st century is not something which happens to somebody else, somewhere else. We all have a stake in it. …”
This statement no doubt placed an obligation on all citizens of countries of the world to find any positive way at all to contribute to achieving these 17 goals.
Creating awareness on the 17 goals of the SDGs among the people is critical to achieving them by 2030.
This is because people can only participate and contribute widely to achieving them only when they are aware of them. But the question is how can they be aware of these goals unless they are told about them?
Consequently, as a song writer, singer and author, the Nigerian Benue-born Anthony Agada elected himself to create awareness and school teaching and learning resource on the 17 goals of the SDGs through two of his creative ingenious communication tools, Music and Book.
(1) Music: Music is a universal language understood by all. Therefore, using music to share any message will no doubt be effective. To this end, as a development/social change singer, Anthony in his desire to create awareness on the SDGs among the people composed, wrote, sang and produced a song based on the 17 goals. The song vividly brought out the 17 goals by innovatively dividing them into two, serving as stanzas with goals 1 to 9 as stanza 1 and goals 10 to 17 as stanza 2. It also has Intro, Refrain, Chorus and Outro which all clearly emphasized that all peoples of the world as a community under the United Nations have conceived the 17 goals for inclusive global growth and development by the year 2030. It also made reference to the successes of the out-gone 8-points Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 2000 – 2015 which are now being consolidated by the 17-points SDGs, thus connecting the immediate past with the present on our way into the future of inclusive global growth and development through inclusive global efforts. The song also calls on all peoples of the world to play their individual role to achieving the goals such that in the overall analysis, no one would have been left behind and the gaps of inequalities would have been closed largely in our world. The song which was released in 2018 is currently enjoying airplay and promotion.
Achieving universal mass mobilization on the SDGs for wider participation in their attainments will no doubt continue to require a song such as this as a useful tool on radios, at seminars/workshops; Summits and events of member countries’ governments, UN and relevant agencies, among others.
The song can be downloaded in Mp3 format HERE . You are free to share the link and/or download the song and share widely with your contacts, radios, etc.
(2) Book(s) : Anthony Agada’s attempt at creating awareness on the SDGs did not just start today. As a matter he started from the same year 2016 that SDGs started when he wrote and published two books inside which he promoted the 17 goals of the SDGs for his general interest readers and school teachers and students to be acquainted and take relevant responsibility.
The two books are presented below:
(a) “Poor Reading Culture Among Nigerians“: an expository discourse on issues arising and the way forward”.
In the book written as a paper and innovatively presented to Nigerians, Anthony Agada dedicated two pages precisely pages 105 and 106 to write out all the 17 goals of the SDGs and the out-gone 8 goals of the MDGs for readers to read, know and connect. As a matter of fact, in the preliminary page xvi, he predicted the content and subject of enquiry of the book within the context of a relevant goal of the SDGs which is goal 4: Quality Education (Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning). This is based on the generally held belief that we Nigerians don’t read book as we used to and/or ought to; yet book reading is an act of lifelong learning. He took his premise of argument in the book from the ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration’s Bring Back the Book Campaign (BBBC) initiative which he argued the “bring back…” suggests what used to be that no longer is and needs to be brought back. Given that the SDGs goal 4 partly seeks to promote lifelong learning and the book seeks to promote lifelong learning through book reading, the goal 4 is relevant to the book and the book is in harmony with goal 4.
The author further in pages 21 and 23 explained the implications of this lifelong learning of the SDGs on the Nigerian reading and non-reading population, bringing out examples of people who lost life-changing opportunities because they failed to practice lifelong learning and in particular through book reading. He captured some book reading promotion initiatives of both government and private sectors and particularly the one of the United Nations championed by the UNESCO annually under the aegis of World Book Capital (WBC) zeroing in on the edition won and hosted in Nigeria in 2014 tagged “Port Harcourt, World Book Capital 2014”. The WBC is a title bestowed to a city in recognition of the quality of its programmes to promote books and reading and the dedication of all players in the book industry. The designation runs from World Book and Copyright Day (April 23rd) of one year until April 23rd of the following year. To this end, Port Harcourt held this from 23rd April, 2014 to 23rd April, 2015 when it handed it over to the city of Incheon in South Korea the host of 2015. No doubt, readers have so much to learn from this book! This book has been reviewed, approved and recommended for schools’ libraries and general reading by the Benue State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in 2017. As a matter of fact, the book is currently in use for teaching and learning in the Department of English Language at the Benue State University, Makurdi.
(b) Ada Obobi Yes
This is an indigenous languages communication promotion fiction. In short, it’s a novella with the story set in the background of Idoma language of the Idoma tribe of Benue State but with an appeal of relevance to all indigenous languages anywhere.
Anthony Agada in this fiction seeks to prevent indigenous languages from going into extinction. It is also in harmony with the goal 4 of the SDGs, Quality Education and he situated it within its context in preliminary page ix based on one of the targets of this SDGs, goal 4 which reads in part: “By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including among others,… global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.”
He believes that language is a cultural identity in cultural diversity. So as global citizens, we still have our diverse languages according to our tribes and we must promote them and importantly prevent them from going into extinction. We are different people speaking different languages in one global village/world. We are global citizens of diverse nations. This is exactly what this target of the SDGs goal 4 seeks to promote and this book is in harmony promoting same.
Anthony Agada also creatively captured in the book the UNESCO’s declaration of February 21st of every year as “International Mother Language Day” to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism which is in harmony with the SDGs goal 4. The book, Ada Obobi Yes has also been reviewed, approved and recommended for general reading by the Benue State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in 2017.
With his SDG titled song and the first book that captured the 17 goals of the SDGs generally and the two books that captured SDGs goals 4 particularly, Anthony Agada has been contributing to achieving the SDGs in the area of mass awareness creation and teaching-learning in schools for wider participation and contribution. His works continue to come handy usefully for mass awareness creation on radios, at seminars/workshops; schools, Summits and events of member countries’ governments, UN and relevant agencies, among others.
Anthony Ochayi Ameh Agada’s educational background is in Mass Communication, holding a Bachelors Degree while currently pursuing a MSc degree. He is from Benue State and can be reached on