Peace One Day: Akon, Jude Law Bring Concert to DRC
Riding through the streets of Goma accompanied by a team of armed Uruguayan United Nations peacekeepers, Jude Law looked up, punched the air, and shouted out in elation. Sod London, I’ll take Congo any day, he said – or words to that effect. Law, 41, was experiencing the elation that commonly strikes when visitors show up in Africa’s most enduring and deadly war zone and, at times, find a place more vibrant and alive than their own home.
The next day, on September 21, US hip-hop artist Akon played to a crowd of perhaps five or six thousand people in the capital of North Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The event was organised by Peace One Day, a London-based advocacy and networking group that attempts to achieve peace around the world for one day a year, and makes films about its work.
The movement dates back sixteen years, to when a Briton called Jeremy Gilley decided to create a global day of peace. He petitioned governments, who brought a resolution before the UN General Assembly, and the day was universally established in 2001. He likens himself to Mrs Jarvis, who invented Mother’s Day in 1908. “We made the day famous – not ourselves.”