Nigerian Alumna Writes Song to Spread Awareness About Abductions

Kimberly Ashton
May 15, 2014
Kaliné Akinkugbe

The abduction of hundreds of schoolgirls in Nigeria has prompted international outrage, and a cry to “bring back our girls.” Protesters in dozens of cities around the world are demanding that the kidnappers, a group called Boko Haram, release the girls. Berklee alumna Kaliné Akinkugbe filmed one such rally in New York City and wrote a song to spread awareness about the situation in her homeland. 

Akinkugbe, a film scoring major from Nigeria who graduated in 2013, said she wrote the song in the hope that people will hear it and feel compelled to spread the word or to create awareness in a positive way. 

“Being so far away from home, I felt that I had to do something. Attending the rallies were certainly important as one was around people who felt the same way but it wasn’t enough for me,” she said. “Music is a universal language and I hope that by putting this story into a song, it will continue to spread the word and get more people to know about it. That way, more attention will be directed to this issue.”

The song, called “Bring Them Home,” isn’t Akinkugbe’s first to address issues of social justice. In 2012, she won the Songs for Social Change songwriting competition at Berklee for her composition about domestic violence, “Stand and Fight.” “During my time at Berklee, I developed a deeper understanding of the power of music in bringing about change,” Akinkugbe said. “After winning (the contest), I realized that this was a way in which I could express myself.”

Now based in New York City, Akinkugbe is recording her EP while still working to influence social change through music.

Watch a music video for Kaliné Akinkugbe's "Bring Them Home" here: