International popstar Dua Lipa has been named the honorary Ambassador of Kosovo during a ceremony held by President Vjosa Osmani due to the singer’s humanitarian work in the country and abroad, as well as for her achievements in her career.
Lipa was born in the UK to Kosovo Albanian parents from Prishtina and started singing at the age of five, influenced by her father, Dukagjin. Over her career, she has won numerous awards, including six Brit Awards, three Grammy Awards, two MTW Europe Music Awards, an MTV Video Music Award, two Billboard Music Awards, an American Music Award and two Guinness World Records. She has sold more than six million records and is the most-streamed female artist on Spotify.
“Aside from being a world-class and a once-in-a-generation musician, you are also a role model for many girls and women across the world as a forthright and conscientious activist,” Osmani wrote. “But above all, what you have done for the people of Kosovo, raising awareness of the Republic of Kosovo, is unmatched and truly invaluable.”
Lipa has continually spoken out in support of Kosovo, including matters like EU integration and visa liberalisation- two issues high on the country’s agenda but remain out of reach.
She wrote on Instagram that “It’s an honour and a privilege to be able to represent my country all over the world and to continue my work and efforts globally to see that we leave our mark and make a difference.”
Speaking at the Sunny Hill festival in Prishtina, organised by her father, she said lobbying for visa liberalisation for Kosovo citizens in Europe would be one of her main priorities. Kosovo remains the only country in Europe that does not have visa liberalisation in the EU, meaning citizens must apply for a permit to enter an EU country.
“Today, we join world voices to ask our European friends for their help to grant citizens of Kosovo visa liberalisation,” Lipa wrote. “While the EU sets borders around our freedom, we will hold onto our aspirations to be set free.”