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FAIR is one of CGIAR ‘s employee-led resource groups that works to promote Diversity and inclusion and aims to speak up against and bring awareness to racism in all its forms across the CGIAR. We strive to create a safe space where our members can have meaningful and respectful conversations around this topic, where we can foster allyship, and where we can appreciate and celebrate our diversity.

A downloadable PDF version of the newsletter is available here.

Spotlight on Inga Jacobs-Mata

Inga Jacobs Mata IWMI

Inga is a political scientist and has a PhD in International Relations from St-Andrews University, Scotland. She specialises in water governance with over 10 years of experience in transboundary water governance (particularly cooperative governance in Africa), science communication, and research impact and uptake.

Based in Pretoria, South Africa, she is currently the CGIAR Country Convenor for South Africa, International Water Management Institute’s (IWMI) Country Representative for South Africa, and Regional Representative for IWMI’s Southern Africa portfolio and offices. Before joining IWMI, Inga was the research group leader of the integrated water solutions group at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) where she managed a transdisciplinary team of researchers working on the co-development of integrated water solutions in South Africa and throughout SADC. Inga was also the Executive Manager: Business Development, Marketing and Communications at the Water Research Commission.

Inga is a proud sponsor of the FAIR ERG.  As our sponsor, Inga will:

  • Champion concerns of FAIR members with senior and middle management

  • Promote and open FAIR events

  • Stand against all forms of discrimination

We’ve asked Inga a few questions to which she kindly responded in a video message:

Uniting through: Music

Differences create value and motivate us to communicate, therefore a unity based on differences is a strong one. One that assures that we will always have something to be inspired about. Music is a medium that brings down the borders of different languages and tacitly communicates on many topics.

In this newsletter we will highlight some great musical traditions: court music from Thailand, country blues from Texas, Indian classical music on acoustic guitar and a love song from the Tonga Islands

The first piece is court music from Thailand recorded in 1976 dedicated to Prince Naris (Narisara Nuwattiwong) who was an expert in many arts and did a lot to promote Thai culture. It features the distinctive plucking instrument the Jakhe.

Jakhe Thai plucked instrument. Source: https://www.europeana.eu/mt/item/09102/_CM_0864265
  • Khamien Sai-yok [Prince Naris]

  • Jakhe: Thong-Dee Sucharitkul  Khlui: Theab Khonglaitong  Chin: Theab

Khonglaitong, Chalerm Muangpraesri & La-iad Herabat  Saw sam sai: Chalerm Muangpraesri  Voice: La-iad Herabat  Thon, ramana: Pathomarat Thintoranee

Youtube link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PLl2eFB_y8&t=9041s

The second piece is by blues great Sam ‘lightning’ Hopkins recorded in 1962. Here he sings about the love for his grandfather who took care of him as young boy: “I want you to understand grandpa once has been a young man” and “If you bother my grandpa I am the one you got to see”. Hopkins was known for never singing a song the same twice and his music can be seen as a direct extension of the musicality and poetry of conversations and storytelling.

  • Ma grandpa is old too! vocal and guitar: Sam ‘Lightning’ Hopkins.

Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhJ9VxYEhjU

The third piece is Raag Baageshwari, by Kamala Shankar an Indian musician born in Tamil Nadu and brough up in Varanasi. She got fascinated by the American acoustic steel string guitar and used it to play Indian classical music. Although she now plays an adapted guitar, in her first cd in the link below, released in 2000 she used the original acoustic guitar, a very fresh sound! Raag Baageshwari is a late night raag to depict the emotions of women waiting for her lover (Ascending scale S g m D n S’,  Descending scale S’ n D m g R S)

  • Raag Baageshwari, slide guitar Kamala Shankar, Tabla: Kubernath Mishra


We end this musical journey with an emotional love song from the Tonga Islands in the pacific recorded in 1978 by David Fanshawe in Holanga village in the Vava’u district.

  • Faikava Love Song , vocals: unknown

Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkPE9-jXpH4


Upcoming, at a Glance

  • 16 November 2022: UNESCO’s International Day for Tolerance: look out for a special edition newsletter to raise awareness to and celebrate this special day.

  • 16 January 2023: Martin Luther King Day

  • 27 January 2023: International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Become a FAIR member

FAIR is always open to welcoming new members. To join or obtain information, kindly fill this short form.

What does a member do?

We meet to share resources, information and have meaningful discussions around topics relating to racism in and out of the workplace.

The group aims to host 2 main events per year and a bimonthly newsletter to showcase ethnic and racial celebrations around the world.

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