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K’Naan kicks off better-world campaign in Joburg



Somali-born musician K’naan arrived in Johannesburg to give away hundreds of renewable-energy footballs – the sOccket – to children in the city.

The event was the highlight of the Western Union World of Betters campaign, part of the global payments company’s new worldwide brand platform, ‚Moving Money for Better.‚

K’naan’s Western Union World of Betters event is the third of five celebrity Better acts. He joins international recording artists Alicia Keys and Sunidhi Chauhan to support the Western Union World of Betters Contest, which asks consumers how they would make the world a better place.

‚The Western Union World of Betters was a perfect match for me because I knew giving away energy-generating footballs would have a lasting impact on the lives of these children and their families – providing a source of much-needed power from play,‚ K’naan said. ‚We’re making their day better, and the company makes a difference all the time by helping consumers send cash around the world.‚

Created by Uncharted Play, the sOccket harnesses the kinetic, or motion, energy of the soccer ball during normal game play and stores it for later power needs. After play, small electrical appliances, like an LED lamp, can be plugged into the sOccket.

Jean Claude Farah, senior regional vice president, Middle East & Africa, Western Union, said, ‚Western Union World of Betters focuses on giving back to the global community to help others have a better day and a better life. With today’s Western Union event, we are all reminded that a little self-generated power can go a long way ‚ creating a fuller life for people everywhere.‚

Throughout the Western Union World of Betters contest, other renowned artists will join Alicia, Sunidhi and K’naan’s efforts by broadening the campaign’s reach, with other celebrities and dates to be announced globally and streamed live on The celebrity team will also activate social media throughout the campaign.

Western Union World of Betters is one program of many that aligns under ‚Moving Money for Better‚ branding concepts, focused on Western Union products and services as solutions to create ‚moments of better’. While sustaining the company’s 160-year history of innovation and helping people improve lives, the new branding elements depict visual timelines that invite consumers to be a part of the worldwide campaign.

How to Enter:

Eligible participants should visit and upload their entry of no more than 100 words describing how they would use US$1,000 to make the world a better place. Participants are then encouraged to tell their family and friends to view their story and vote on the website. Public voting will determine 500 entries from which a judging panel will select 100 Western Union World of Betters ideas, and winners will receive the equivalent of US$1,000 cash that they can use to bring their idea to life. Those entering the contest should submit their entries by 11:59:59 p.m. GMT on Dec. 15, 2011.

To learn more and submit an entry, visit, click on the enter button to complete the registration form and follow the instructions on how to submit the entry. The site is available in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese, with some pages available in Russian and Arabic. No purchase necessary to enter or win. Entry is subject to the Official Rules available at Void where prohibited by law.


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