First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama (@Flotus) underlined her commitment to education during a conversation with South African youth, in conjunction with African youth channel MTV Base (DStv Channel 322) and Google+.
Livestreamed at WhiteHouse.gov, the White House Google+ page and www.mtvbase.com on Saturday, Mrs Obama’s remarks will also feature in groundbreaking MTV Base TV series, MTV Base Meets… MTV Base Meets Michelle Obama will premiere to 52 countries across sub-Saharan African on MTV Base (DStv Channel 322) on Friday 19 July at 5pm CAT.
Mrs Obama was joined by hundreds of teens and young people from across South Africa at the Sci-Discovery Centre in Newton, Johannesburg, while others in L.A., Kansas City, New York City and Houston took part in the event virtually thanks to Google+ Hangouts. Thousands more watched the live streaming of the event.
Speaking movingly about the connections between the US and Africa, the importance of education and the power of young people to change the world, Mrs Obama urged young people to “use your education to make history and build a better future in the years ahead”, talking about her personal journey from poverty to White House thanks to perseverance and faith.
Drawing parallels between the segregation struggles in the United States and the anti-apartheid struggles of the 50s and 60s, Mrs Obama urged young people to take control of their lives and aim high: “…you all have everything you need, right now… You have everything. You have a brain in your head. You have passion in your heart. And I know that if you’re willing to work for it and fight for it, you can be anything that you dream of.”
MTV Base VJ Sizwe Dhlomo MC-ed the event, fielding questions from the audience and passing on messages sent in by MTV Base’s Twitter and other social media followers. R&B superstar John Legend joined students in Los Angeles to participate in the event while singer and actress Victoria Justice, ambassador for girl empowerment campaign Girl Up, beamed in from Houston.
Created and broadcast by MTV Base, Viacom International Media Networks’ dedicated youth and music channel for sub-Saharan Africa, the long-running MTV Base Meets franchise is a multimedia youth empowerment campaign which connects aspiring African youth with key influencers or opinion formers from the worlds of politics, business, sports, music and fashion. Previous high profile influencers to appear on the series include former President Mandela, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, music icon Hugh Masekela, actor Idris Elba, and businessman and entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson.
To join the conversation about MTV Base Meets Michelle Obama, please go to www.mtvbase.com, follow us on Google+, join MTV Base on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MTVBaseVerified, or follow us on Twitter @MTVBaseAfrica using the hashtag #MTVMeetsMichelle.