Hip-hop musician Gipsy appointed ambassador for minorities
The singer for the popular Czech Roma band Gipsy.cz, which plays an explosive mixture of hip-hop and traditional Romany music, has taken on a new - for his fans perhaps somewhat surprising - role. This week the minister in charge of human rights, Dzamila Stehlikova, appointed Gipsy.cz's Radoslav "Gipsy" Banga ambassador for minorities as part of the European Year of Equal Opportunities.
"For me this means a big responsibility, of course, because I want to say I am not a politician, I am just a musician and I am just a man. But for me it's really a pleasure to represent minorities in the Czech Republic because I think this question has never been taken too seriously in this state. Primarily of course, the meaning of that action of the European Union is to represent all minorities, for example gender or religious minorities, so I am trying to represent all minorities."
As a musician does Gipsy think that music itself has the power to change things?
With all the recent successes behind him, Gipsy certainly doesn't lack self-confidence and he is well aware that many young people, especially Roma, look up to him. There is little doubt that minorities in the Czech Republic have gained a strong voice to speak on their behalf:
"I can be a very good example for young Roma of course. For me, primarily, I know that I can help my nation to make it better here. And not only that of course. Young people are listening to our music. Gipsy. cz is one of the most popular groups in the Czech Republic today and that's a very good position of course."