THE VICE PRESIDENT: So, I am so excited to be here. And your reputation collectively — all of the artists, everything that you have done here — is an international reputation.
For me to be able to come here during this trip on my first full day in Ghana really is symbolic of the connection that we have as people and as nations. But the creative work that is happening on this continent, as represented by the work that is happening here in Ghana, is extraordinary in terms of the international global impact.
Now, this is not a new phenomena, but it is something, with that — with all of the current excitement about the evolution of culture and music and artistry, that is very significant.
What is happening here is changing the way people kind of enjoy themselves — (laughter) — and think of their expression.
There is so much about our ability to receive music that is about receiving universal language. And that is also what you are doing here.
You are speaking in a way that around the globe people hear songs that are rooted in concepts like freedom and individuality and self-determination. This is the work you each are doing.
And so I feel so honored and privileged to be here and to thank you for all of the creative work. It takes a lot of courage, it takes a lot of sacrifice to be an artist, but the work that is happening here is influencing and bringing joy to people around the world.
So, thank you all. And I brought some of my friends with me — (laughter and applause) — Sheryl Lee Ralph, Idris Elba. And I would invite them — please, let’s start with Sheryl Lee — to share a few words, as an extraordinary artist, about what this means to be here.