Scientist-turned-soprano helps create Space for Hope to protect wildlife, people and planet

Nigerian scientist turned soprano Omo Bello backs charity Space for Giants’ campaign to preserve African’s wild spaces

Wednesday 05 January 2022 13:50

French Nigerian soprano Omo Bello, a polymath whose career has taken her from scientist to soprano, is lending her voice to the fight to conserve nature.

Omo has delivered the voiceover to Space for Giants, a conservation charity, in their latest video campaign to help raise awareness about the need to create space for hope and protect nature before it is too late.

Speaking to The Independent, Omo said “I’m honoured and inspired to support Space for Giant’s vision to preserve Africa’s wild spaces and the people and wildlife who call them home.

“There is still a lot of opportunity to preserve what is left, to save it in a state of exquisite beauty before it is too late.

“I’ve always been passionate about the natural world. Looking at the world around me, it’s something I can’t help but be. I grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, and I feel the need for fresh air, wild spaces and the ocean.

“But sadly, when I picture home, I think of the abandonment of much of the wildlife. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country; and Lagos the proverbial poster girl for a large city in a developing country. There are serious issues of pollution, disorder, neglect and waste, and the attitude of many people in Nigeria has been that conservation is not important, that the only thing that matters is economic growth.

“The trap for the developing countries who have focused on that, depleting resources and abandoning everything else, is that so much has been lost in the natural world. There is disgust, frustration and sadness; it is the elephant in the room - no pun intended - to face this subject. But I do feel change is coming.”

Omo, who moved from Nigeria to Paris when she became an opera star, tells The Independent she feels a responsibility to do what she can to combat the crises facing our planet.

“I got fed up with city life. For me the exciting things are not to do with fancy tech or visiting a new shopping mall. It is preserving nature and our wild spaces. It is investing in young people and creating partnerships that have impact. For example - collaborating with the tourism sector can help make conservation sustainable. Using art to educate and connect people to nature. Taking inspiration from nature in music.

“I started out as a scientist, a cell biologist, five years before I became an opera singer. I’ve kept up with scientific journals about nature ever since, so this work with Space for Giants helps me connect with this part of me. I feel great pride in helping to work on the Space for Hope, it gives me deep fulfilment to do as much as I can to support their vital work.”

You can watch the Space for Hope film here and pledge in the campaign here.

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