South Africa, 25 May 2020 - In commemoration of Africa Day, the Human Innovation Project launched an anthem song and video “Kindness Contagion” across online and broadcast platforms. The song brings together over 25 artists from across the African continent - “This is a call to action from Africa to spread kindness around the world” said Beth Arendse, Director of South African Creative Industries Incubator in her opening address as she commended the work and generosity of the creative team in doing this project.
The project has already drawn a growing list of African collaborators and partners including Vusi Mahlasela, Jonathan Butler, Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, Marcus Wyatt, Tu Nokwe, Pops Mohamed, Buhlebendalo, Alvin Hendricks, Randall Skippers, Allou April, Justin Arendse, Vicky Sampson, Madosini, Biko's Manna (of South Africa), Didier Awadi (Senegal), Seun Kuti (Nigeria), Orezi (Nigeria), Elida Almeida (Cape Verde), Christine Salem (Reunion), Suzziah (Kenya), Gasmilla (Ghana), Gyedu Blay Amoblley (Ghana), Jah Baba (Benin), Maurice Kirya (Uganda), Xixel (Mozambique).
Each artist recorded their music and video content independently from where they are around the continent, offering a truly Pan-African message based on our common humanity. Also featured in the video are artworks from the United Nations call to creatives, which inspired the theme of the song. “Song unifies communities and has the power to change attitudes and behavior. We strongly believe that this will help us shape the dynamics of development behaviors and attitudes around COVID-19” said Dr Ayodele Odusola, Resident Representative of UNDP South Africa during his address at the launch, acknowledging African talent as amongst the best in the world.
The song is free to download and share from the Kindness Contagion website and social media platforms. People will also be able to donate towards a fund to support African artists who have suffered losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. People are also encouraged to share their acts of kindness via the different media platforms. “This is our way of reaching out to our sisters and brothers in the music industry; to instill hope; promote and strengthen unity in the continent” – a sentiment shared by artists present at the launch.
Hosted by Kgomotso Matsunyane, the online launch brought together artists Pops Mohammed, Tu Nokwe & Biko’s Manna, Marcus Wyatt, Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, Suzziah, Vicky Sampson, Jah Baba, Maurice and Xixel as they engaged the audience. Each of them sharing what being involved in this project has meant for them – “one blood, one family, one Africa” as Jah Baba put it. In his concluding remarks, producer Gabi le Roux expressed heartfelt gratitude to all the artists for “blessing me with your beautiful talent. This has indeed been an experience of a lifetime” he said.
The funds raised from this project will be distributed in South Africa by several entities who are already running funds for such purposes. “No one could have anticipated this situation and as such, musicians are probably at their lowest. Music in Africa is committed to this project and will do our best to support it” said Mr Eddie Hatitye, CEO of Music in Africa Foundation who will be managing distribution of the funds in the rest of Africa.
The project, also made possible through partnerships with other entities such as MusicDay2.org and Sheer Music Publishing Africa calls upon all Africans and the rest of the world to share this message of hope, support and solidarity and spread kindness across the globe – no matter where they are.
For more information and regular updates visit us at https://kindnesscontagion.africa/
Beth Arendse-Human Innovation Project- +27 072 961 4145
Rhulani Lehloka-UNDP SA- +27 066 307 1827
Connie Nagiah-Media co-ordinator - + 27 082 730 0653
Vanessa Tloubatla-Media co-ordinator- +27 073 385 5000