Artists unite for Africa Day song

DJ Maphorisa joins fellow African artists to sing about love and unity.
DJ Maphorisa joins fellow African artists to sing about love and unity.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

SA musicians have joined other African stars in celebrating the spirit of Africanism and cultural diversity through a song titled Africa Unite, which will be released today - Africa Day.

The song is part of the "Play Your Part" initiative spearheaded by Brand SA, and its purpose is to promote unity on the continent.

The song, which is done in different languages - including Zulu, Swahili, Lingala, Tswana, English, Afrikaans, Shona and French - features SA stars like DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small, Ricky Rick, Youngsta CPT, Rouge Rapper, Dee Koala, DR Congo-born Tresor and Zimbabwen-born Shasha, both living in SA.

DRC-born musician and songwriter Tresor.
DRC-born musician and songwriter Tresor.
Image: Tshepo Kekana

Speaking to Sowetan yesterday, Tresor (born Mukengerwa Tresor Riziki in Goma), said he was excited to be part of the song because it was spreading a positive and powerful message to Africans.

Tresor said he has been involved in the creative process of the song and wrote the chorus.

"It was important for me to be part of it because the song focuses on the current pandemic which is Covid-19, and encourages Africans to be safe and to come together during this time. It is about unity and togetherness," he said.

Young rapper Dee Koala.
Young rapper Dee Koala.
Image: Meghan Daniels

"The use of different languages in the song was to make sure the messages [in it] reach everyone, even beyond SA. I'm hoping that people will take the song seriously. As we celebrate Africa Day today, we should celebrate our different cultures and diversity as the continent."

Acting CEO of Brand SA Thulisile Manzini explained that the multilingual approach was inspired by the bold, vibrant and resilient African spirit, which has once again come to the fore during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"No one could have foreseen the magnitude of the health, social and economic challenge we would have to face in 2020.

"Covid-19 has put that on the back burner but it has highlighted the way in which Africans pull together in the face of adversity and support one another through the most difficult of times."

Manzini said the song calls on Africa to stand firm in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and to play its part 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 and social distancing. It also has a message that reflects the triumphant African spirit - It's me and you together, we shall overcome."

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