COVID-19: Bringing Africans Together with Music

By Tolulope Ibukunoluwa

Africa has not been left out of the ripples put into effect across the globe by the COVID-19 pandemic. The unprecedented outcome of the breakout has left a lot of people as well as organizations reeling and seeking relief. The UN Conference on Trade and Development reported that global commodity prices fell by a record 20% in March 2020 alone. Industries like the aviation and tourism industries have been hit the hardest. According to the World Economic Forum, 90% of the world’s global fleet is grounded and tourism is expected to fall this year by between 58% to 78%. On base levels, these effects have been weightiest in the most vulnerable and underserved communities across the continent.

In response to this now all too familiar waves of struggle, Africans and other entities from many different works and sectors have had to come together to fight COVID-19. Among these sensitive organizations is MultiChoice. The video entertainment provider has always made a point to enrich the lives of people, communities, and enterprises across Africa. In keeping to this, MultiChoice has partnered with the One Africa Global Foundation for a fundraising initiative, aimed at providing essential supplies and relief to vulnerable communities and individuals across Africa.

MultiChoice and the One Africa Global Foundation have collaborated for a broadcast of the ‘COVID-19 Hope For Africa Concert’ on Sunday, May 31. The three-hour broadcast will span across the continent from 7PM WAT on Africa Magic Family (DStv channel 154 and GOtv channel 2).

A shared appreciation for world-class entertainment and music has brought people together for a long time. Music holds a special place in the hearts of the African people. The love of music has led to a free flow of emotions for many and has been able to inspire optimism in the face of daunting situations. Finding places of shared solace is a constant quest for an incredible number of people during these times. A common ground where many people find it is music. The African acts who deliver world-class music are a warmly welcome group in the hearts and homes of many.

The concert will feature special performances by some of Africa’s top music artistes and goodwill messages of hope and encouragement by past and current leaders, health workers and COVID-19 survivors. On the line-up are superstar favorites, 2Baba (Nigeria), Adina (Ghana), Bombshell (Zambia), Bovi (Nigeria), Dakore Egbuson-Akande (Nigeria), Davido (Nigeria), DJ Spinall (Nigeria), DJ Vivian (Uganda), Efya (Ghana), Falz (Nigeria), Flavor (Nigeria), Jose Chameleone (Uganda), Keche (Ghana), Ladipoe (Nigeria), Lij Micheal (Ethiopia), Mawuli Gavor, (Ghana), Mr 2Kay (Nigeria), Nandy (Tanzania), Osas Ighodaro (Nigeria), Sarkodie (Ghana), Scientific (Liberia), Tekno (Nigeria), The Ben (Rwanda), Tiwa Savage (Nigeria) Wanjira Longauer, (Kenya) and Yasirah Bhelz (South Africa). These familiar faces will serve as torchbearers of upliftment and hope, to help lift the spirits of individuals across the continent.

MultiChoice has stayed on course in its commitment to serve millions of people with world-class entertainment. The organization has used digital innovation to facilitate entertainment experiences in different forms, to be engaged at any time. Its Direct-To-Home satellite (DTH) platform – DStv, Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) platform – GOtv, Video-On-Demand, and OTT platforms Showmax and DStv Now, are all cutting-edge vehicles used to deliver these experiences.

Across more than 49 countries where MultiChoice operates, people have been able to access shared entertainment experiences. These experiences have served as a conduit for people to reach across countries that were seemingly worlds away. The broadcast of ‘COVID-19 Hope For Africa Concert’ is another offering of world-class music entertainment that will bring people together for an eventful 3-hours. Individuals across Africa will celebrate their shared love for music with the very best music talents across Africa.

As the world looks eagerly towards the end of the pandemic, more partnerships have sprung up. These partnerships have been necessitated by the fact that only a collective effort will lead to the containment and the eventual curb of the scourge. The MultiChoice and One Africa Global Foundation partnership serves as a perfect archetype for the kind of collaboration needed for Africans to come out on the other side, a stronger unit.

The focal point of the partnership is to actively foster the restoration of the continent back to health. The One Africa Global Foundation is a development arm of One Africa Global and a non-government, not-for-profit, committed to working for the social development of vulnerable and less privileged people.

One Africa Global pioneered a platform for the celebration of African music and culture, the ‘One Africa Music Fest’. The One Africa Music Fest is one of the leading platforms that showcase the biggest talents out of Africa on the global stage. This humanitarian cause has been used as an exhibition of African culture, history and heritage. One Africa Music Fest has been hosted in a number locations across the world, including: Dubai, London and New York. It has also featured globally recognised artists like Wizkid, Tiwa savage, and Burna Boy.

The One Africa Global Foundation, since its inception, has sought to create a community where various entities can collectively make strides towards providing access to quality health care. These provisions have mostly been directed to disadvantaged people and communities in need of medical attention.

As one of its many points of action, the foundation sought to reduce the burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV and AIDS. It has now joined in on the fight against COVID-19. The One Africa Global Foundation has focused its attention on helping stop the spread of the virus. The ‘COVID-19 Hope For Africa Concert’ is an avenue and a rallying cry for individuals as well as other entities to lend a hand and donate.

The proceeds from the fundraising production will go into acquiring testing equipment, personal protection equipment (PPE), providing support for the front liners in Africa, and spreading these resources across all 54 countries in Africa.

As MultiChoice joins in on the fight against COVID-19, it has continued in its mandate to give back to the communities where it operates and beyond. This is a major motivation for this partnership. As true believers in the power of storytelling and entertainment, MultiChoice now seeks to harness that power to inspire and encourage comradery among African people. Standing together is important during this trying phase, more than ever, which is why the organization has placed itself in this unique position. These efforts see the MultiChoice serve as a converging point for people from all facets to see the value of collaboration.

MultiChoice and the One Africa Global Foundation have relayed their shared belief that COVID-19 can be contained and controlled in Africa, with accessible functional medical equipment, adequate COVID testing stations, and an extensive number of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Dispensing these infrastructures primarily to the most vulnerable communities and beyond will serve to minimize overall exposure and resulting hazards. These feats can only be achieved through collaborative efforts from individuals as well as other entities. The COVID-19 Hope For Africa Concert in its intent seeks to encourage a communal approach towards defeating the pandemic. The concert invites people to come together in their shared passion for music, spurring them to actively participate in this joint fight.

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