BRAND SA- AFRICA UNITE: ARTISTS COLLAB TO BRING HOPE AND CELEBRATE AFRICAN UNITY ON #AFRICADAY AMID COVID -19
Brand SA has launched a song titled Play Your Part with African artists to mark #AfricaDay and raise awareness about COVID-19 safety guidelines for their initiative. Harnessing African unity in response to the pandemic is artists like DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small, Riky Rick, Rouge Rapper, Youngsta CPT, Shasha, Tresor and Dee Koala.
The Brand SA Africa Day initiative, called Play Your Part – “Africa Unite”, is spearheaded by the launch of the new ensemble song, written and produced to celebrate the diversity of Africanism in all of its many facets, especially in language and the arts.
The song, which is also titled Play Your Part – “Africa Unite”, aims to highlight and foster African unity, and features a number of languages spoken on the continent, including Swahili, Lingala, Zulu, isiXhosa, seTswana, English, Afrikaans, Shona and French. This multi-lingual approach is inspired by the bold, vibrant, and resilient African spirit, which has once again come to the fore during the current Covid-19 pandemic.
The Play Your Part – “Africa Unite” song which features the tagline ‘unity in action’ is available for streaming and downloads on all major platforms including Apple Music, Deezer and Spotify. Proceeds from streaming and downloads of the song will go toward the Solidarity Response Fund.
“Through song, we are aiming to highlight Africa’s cultural tradition of unity and the immense power it has to overcome adversity as well as to foster a process of rebuilding after a crisis.”says Acting CEO of Brand SA, Thulisile Manzini.
“No one could have foreseen the magnitude of the health, social and economic challenges we would have to face in 2020,”
Manzini says that in February when SA became Chair of the African Union for the year they didn’t anticipate it would be under these conditions as they looked forward to a promising year in promoting and advancing the continent’s 2063 development strategy as set out by the AU.
“Covid-19 has put that on the back burner, but it’s highlighted the way in which Africans pull together in the face of adversity and support one another through the most difficult of times.”says Manzini.
The Play Your Part – “Africa Unite” song, which is inspired by this unique African world view, features leading South African artists including DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small, Ricky Rick, Rouge Rapper, Youngsta CPT, Dee Koala and Shasha from Zimbabwe, as well as Tresor, who hails from the DRC. The lyrics are a clarion call to Africa’s large youth population to stand firm in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and to #PlayYourPart in halting its advance.
It begins by calling on young people to heed the call to stay home and adopt recommended measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, including regular hand washing, the wearing of face masks in public places, and social distancing. But also embedded within this is a message that reflects the triumphant African spirit: “It’s me and you together; we shall overcome.”
“We want Africa’s people – and its young people in particular – to feel supported and uplifted by the spirit of ubuntu (African unity) in this song,” says Manzini. “And, as importantly, we want them to know that our culture of watching out for one another is really paying off.”
Apart from the Oceanic region, which includes Australia, New Zealand and four Polynesian islands, Africa currently has the lowest Covid-19 infection rate in the world, with just fewer than 100,000 infections. This compares to over 1,8 million in Europe, over 1,7 million in North America, just below 865 000 in Asia, and just above 500 000 in South America (Source: Worldometers, 21 May, 16:50).
“Africa may be facing many challenges,” says Manzini, “but its young, energetic population has the power to harness its cultural heritage and create exactly what we’re aiming for: the Africa we want. In a similar way, we at Brand South Africa are harnessing the continent’s creative talent to demonstrate once again the subtle – and practical – power of unity.”
Saturday, May, 30th Brand South Africa, in collaboration with the Department of Arts and Culture, Bassline and its stakeholders will be hosting a live-streaming Africa Day celebration on YouTube. The event, which will feature a collaborative song by a number of African musicians will honour a united Africa that is committed to the fight against the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic through artistic activism.