Grammy winner Angélique Kidjo speaks on campus

Ali Izzi

News/Feature Editor

Style: "70's look"
Photo courtesy Spoleto Festival USA

Three Grammy Awards, as a singer, activist and humanitarian, have been placed in the hands of the inspiring Angelique Kidjo. On Thursday Oct. 3 at 7 p.m., Springfield College will welcome Kidjo to the Field House where she will present her published memoir “Spirit Rising: Live Your Dreams”, to students, faculty, staff and community members alike, free of cost. Those interested just need to register their spot.

Angelique Kidjo is a world renown vocalist and recording artist who is highly regarded for her knowledge of world music, and African music, in particular,” said Dr. Anne Herzog, the Dean of the Schools of Arts, Sciences, and Professional Studies.

In here appearance Thursday, she will be sharing stories from her own life as well as shedding light on having global and cultural awareness and traveling the world.

Kidjo was originally born in Benin, a Western African country, but in her late teen years, she left for Paris where she believed she would find the future of education and opportunity she had dreamed of. It is an autobiography of inspiration and success, and Kidjo is renowned for being an energetic and engaging storyteller for her audiences in sharing it.

“Angelique Kidjo draws huge audiences wherever she speaks because she has had experiences and opportunities in her world travel that we can all learn from,” said Herzog.

Those three Grammys can attest to it. Herzog hopes a large crowd of students take the chance to learn some valuable lessons and become inspired while Kidjo is on campus.

“I hope all Springfield College students know that in addition to their classroom learning, events such as this, that are not attached necessarily to a specific class, are tremendous opportunities for additional learning,” Herzog said.

Herzog also mentioned that much of Kidjo’s work and ethics parallel that of Springfield College, comparing how the work she has done in her life lines up closely to the college’s Humanics ideology. “Any of us who will be present at Angelique Kidjo’s talk, not just students, will learn about how another person shaped a life of great accomplishment and, in fact, service which was not simply handed to her but which she pursued through her own passions and ambition.”

Kidjo will be the third speaker in an annual “Arts and Humanities Speaker Series”, the first two speakers being Richard Leakey and Sherman Alexie last year. Herzog noted that both her memoir and CD’s will be for sale after the event and Kidjo will be available to sign either.

“It is always a special experience to actually hear an author and international figure share the story of his/her life,” said Herzog, elated about the guest. “I hope we have a tremendous turnout to welcome [Angelique] to our wonderful campus community!”

Ali can be reached via email at aizzi@springfieldcollege.edu

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