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Top African artistes jointly fight HIV/AIDS using song

By Vision Reporter

Added 28th October 2004 03:00 AM

Eighteen top musicians from across Africa have collaborated on a song. The artistes, who include Salif Keita (Mali), Angelique Kidjo (benin), Ismael Lo ( Senegal) and Koffi Olomide (Democratic Republic of Congo, hope that it will park action against poverty and HIV/AIDS on the continent.

Eighteen top musicians from across Africa have collaborated on a song. The artistes, who include Salif Keita (Mali), Angelique Kidjo (benin), Ismael Lo ( Senegal) and Koffi Olomide (Democratic Republic of Congo, hope that it will park action against poverty and HIV/AIDS on the continent.

By Sebidde Kiryowa
Eighteen top musicians from across Africa have collaborated on a song. The artistes, who include Salif Keita (Mali), Angelique Kidjo (benin), Ismael Lo ( Senegal) and Koffi Olomide (Democratic Republic of Congo, hope that it will park action against poverty and HIV/AIDS on the continent. They also intend to involve members of society so that they can act as a tem-tem drum to pass the message to those who have not yet heard it.
The song titled We Are the Drums, is part of the Africa 2015 initiative led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), to mobilise support for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted by governments in 2000.
The MDGs cover eight major commitments to be achieved by 2015. They include halving poverty and hunger, halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and ensuring full access to primary education.
Other musicians are Boncana Maiga (Mali), artistes Achien’g Abura (Kenya), Mahmoud Ahmed (Ethiopia), Didier Awadi (Senegal), Chiwoniso (Zimbabwe), Jaojoby Eusebe (Madagascar), Coumba Gawla Seck (Senegal), Habib Koite (Mali), Ismael Lo (Senegal), Baaba Maal (Senegal).
Other musicians include Cheb Mami (Algeria), Malouma (Mauritania), Meiway (Ivory Coast), Saintrick (Congo) and Youssou N’ Dour (Senegal). The song is recorded in Dakar and Paris.
Song writers Manu Dibango and Yves Ndjock (both Cameronians) are on saxophone and guitar respectively. The lyrics urge African people to stop being “victims of poverty, victims of hunger” and to take individual responsibility to halt the spread of HIV/AIDS so that the generation of 2015, will not be affected by the disease.
The artistes urge people to “act as a tem-tam drum” passing the message on to those who have not yet heard it.
Djibril Diallo, director of UNDP’s Communications Office in a press release, said: “Unless a special effort is made, Africa will not be able to attain the goals before 2145, whereas the rest of the international community is talking about 2015. The presence of these artistes shows that this is not inevitable as far as Africa is concerned, and that there is a commitment to turning the situation around - a commitment at the level of each man and woman in Africa, and a commitment on the part of the international community.”
Algerian artist Cheb Mami said: “We cannot accept that AIDS and poverty should create such ravages and be so widespread in our societies. This is an opportunity to bring together Africans from the North, South, East and West... We can and must take our destiny into our own hands.”
Ends

Top African artistes jointly fight HIV/AIDS using song

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