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Grammy Award-Winner & Activist Angélique Kidjo Joins “21st Century” as New Anchor

on January 17, 2016with 0 comments

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UN-TV5MONDE Co-produced Series will again Tackle World Issues Via Human Interest Stories

a half-hour, award-winning, monthly magazine series produced by United Nations Television has named two-time Grammy winner and activist Angélique Kidjo as its new anchor for its French version.  Produced in partnership with TV5MONDE since 2012, the fifth season of 21ème Siècle helmed by Ms. Kidjo begins production in New York later this month.  The show will also receive a new overall look including a revamped graphics package.

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Throughout its run, 21ème Siècle has placed a spotlight on the world’s most significant issues, many of them vastly under-reported by other media. Framing these issues, each episode utilizes character-driven, human interest narratives to explain the meaning of these stories and their impact on the world and our lives today.  21ème Siècle travels to all corners of the globe, benefitting from UNTV’s often unique access to stories and people in the field, highlighting forgotten humanitarian crises, human rights, climate change, immigration and refugees, life-saving cooperation between nationals from warring countries, the untold story of people leaving terror groups, medical breakthroughs, struggles of former slaves, and much more.

Remarked UNTV’s Executive Producer, Gill Fickling, “Ms. Kidjo’s international stature, her star appeal across cultural and linguistic borders, will bring new audiences to the series as well as increased awareness of the issues on which 21ème Siècle focuses.”  Fickling added, “Her dedicated advocacy for the education of young girls in the developing world and her African origins add to the show’s international credibility. She will help amplify the urgency of tackling the challenges on the UN’s agenda.”


Noted TV5MONDE General Manager Yves Bigot, “Angélique Kidjo’s dedication to Human Rights and the economical development of Africans, particularly women, her stupendous energy, as well as her high profile celebrity in America and in Europe as well as in Africa and the whole French-speaking countries, will raise the bar and the reach for 21ème siècle. She’s been my friend for years and we are very excited at TV5Monde to have her host the show, and to continue to air this powerful and very insightful every month around the world via our special partnership with the UN.


UNTV and TV5MONDE also announced the topics to be covered as part of the first two episodes of 21ème Siècle’snew season:


During the 70s and 80s, many Latin American governments waged war on their own people – disappearing, torturing and killing at will.  For the first time ever, due in part to UN initiatives, states began to be held accountable for their crimes – and they still are.

In Europe it’s the biggest movement of people since World War II. Hundreds of thousands are fleeing war, hardship and persecution. Many end up in Italian detention centers.

Becoming a mother when you’re little more than a child yourself can ruin your life.  While the number of teenagers getting pregnant around the world has fallen, in one region it’s on the rise.  Here’s our story from the Caribbean island of the Dominican Republic.


In Brazil, descendants of slaves have lived for centuries on land occupied by their ancestors.  But in recent years their right to the land has been challenged. Here’s our story…
Climate change, pollution and melting glaciers. What can one individual do?  Filmmaker Abbie Barnes’ story – in her own words.

Ms. Kidjo is widely considered one of the greatest artists in international music today, a creative force with thirteen albums to her name. Time has called her “Africa’s premier diva”. The BBC has included her in its list of the continent’s 50 most iconic figures, and in 2011 The Guardian listed her as one of their Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World.Forbes has ranked Angelique as the first woman in their list of the Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa. She is the recent recipient of the prestigious 2015 Crystal Award given by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.


As a performer, her striking voice, stage presence and fluency in multiple cultures and languages have won respect from her peers.  Kidjo has cross-pollinated the West African traditions of her childhood in Benin with elements of American R&B, funk and jazz, as well as influences from Europe and Latin America.


Her newest album, Sings with the Orchestre Philharmonique Du Luxembourg (Savoy/429 Records), is an historic work blending European classical music traditions and the powerful rhythmic excitement of the sounds of her native land.


Ms. Kidjo travels the world advocating on behalf of children in her capacity as a UNICEF and OXFAM goodwill Ambassador. She created her own foundation, Batonga, dedicated to support the education of young girls in Africa. She is also a published author and in January 2014 released her memoir titled Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music (Harper Collins).


About UNTV

United Nations Television has been a part of the UN’s Department of Public Information for decades, producing documentary films and news coverage to inform audiences around the world on issues that affect us all.   A small team of multilingual producers travels to all corners of the globe gathering material for feature stories, two or three of which make up an episode of “21eme Siecle” (also produced in English, Chinese and Arabic).  The features are adapted to French and post-produced by a skilled team of producers and editors.  The narrations, voice overs and anchor-segments are recorded in UNTV’s NY-based studio.


United Nations Television has garnered many international awards, including an Oscar and an Emmy-nomination amongst many others.



TV5MONDE is the global French-language entertainment network, broadcasting 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to more than 297 million households in 200 countries worldwide, making it the leading French-language entertainment television network in the world in terms of subscribers.  In the United States, TV5MONDE USA is seen throughout the nation on cable systems belonging to Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Time Warner and more.  The channel’s U.S. headquarters are based in Los Angeles.


TV5MONDE offers several French language services in the U.S. including TV5MONDE, USA, the French language entertainment network that focuses on programming including films and sports, TiVi5MONDE Kids, the 24/7 French language children’s network, and TV5MONDE Cinema On Demand, the On Demand French language film service.


TV5MONDE is a network comprised of 12 different channels serving the USA, Latin America, Europe, France / Belgium / Switzerland, Middle East, Africa, Asia, Pacific and one serving Canada, TV5 Québec Canada. To find channel information and more information about TV5MONDE USA and its programming, please visit: www.tv5mondeusa.com

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