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artists release album on HIV/AIDS
Tafirei Shumba, ZimOnline
November 22, 2007
from across Africa have partnered with the UN to produce an 11-title
musical album to sensitise Africans on HIV/AIDS, poverty, gender
inequalities, illiteracy and conflicts. According to a statement
from the UNDP office in Bamako, Mali, Thursday, the tracks sung
in 18 African languages carry very clear messages on the issues.
Five of the songs were on the prevention against the HIV infection,
the need to break the silence on AIDS, to fight stigmatisation and
discrimination around it as well as to promote human rights. The
leading song "Nous sommes les Tam-tams (We are the Drums)"
calls on individuals and institutions to get involved in efforts
to ensure an "AIDS-free generation" by 2015 and to fight
against poverty and hunger. Other songs advocate education for all
girls, equal rights and opportunities for women.
The album, as well as
a video clip of the top song, has been freely distributed to radio
and TV stations in 52 countries in Africa. The album was jointly
produced by the UNDP, the United Nations Office of Sports for Development
and Peace (UNOSDP), the UN Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS),
the United Nations' Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Millennium Campaign.
The album was produced by Africa Fête, a Dakar-based Pan-African
label led by Mamadou Konté, who died shortly before the completion
of the project.
Both the Olympus Company
and the International Association of Athletics Federations provided
the financial support for the initiative, launched in 2003- 2004
following meetings in Dakar, Senegal, on the relevance of the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) in Africa. Seventeen singers, including
legendary saxophonist Manu Dibango, recorded the song "Nous
sommes les Tam-tams (We are the Drums)". It was arranged by
Boncana Maïga. The singers include Achien'g Abura (Kenya),
Mahmoud Ahmed (Ethiopia), Didier Awa di (Senegal), Chiwoniso (Zimbabwe),
Manu Dibango (Cameroon), Jaojoby Eusebe (Madagascar), Coumba Gawlo
Seck (Senegal), Salif Keïta (Mali ) and Angélique Kidjo
(Benin). Others are Habib Koité (Mali), Ismaë Lô
(Senegal), Baaba Maal (Senegal), Malouma (Mauritania), Cheb Mami
(Algeria), Meiway (Côte d'Ivoire), Yves Ndjock (Cameroon),
Youssou N'Dour (Senegal), Koffi Olomidé (DRC) and Saintrick
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