They are artists from diverse backgrounds. Evans Meleka and Eliza Mpoya are gospel artists. Ahmed Pilo is renowned for his Islamic-touch Nasheed music beats. And, King Chambiecco is a hip hop artist of sorts.
Tomorrow, the artists release three songs to contribute to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meleka joins Mpoya in Tisaiderere Covid while King Chambiecco’s song bears a similar title, Usaiderere Covid. His rap undertones sets it apart. Pilo, on the other hand, brings an acappella feel of the chants that are synonymous with global Islamic musical elements.
Diverse as they may be, the three songs bring a unified voice in the fight. The productions come under the auspices of the Ministry of Health in partnership with the Applied Development Communication and Training Services (Adecots) with funding from the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (Adra).
The message is encapsulated in King Chambiecco’s opening lines:
Sizikutengera chuma kapena chipembedzo pano/ Mtundu kapena ulumali/ Sizutengera msinkhu komanso magazi izi.
It goes on to bring to the surface prevention measures in place and how society has changed with the virulent disease. For the artist, the Covid-19 pandemic has affected him, as the social distancing measures in place have taken him off the stage.
“It feels really appropriate to help spread the word on Covid-19. It’s in my line of duty to educate through art. It is an honour, actually,” King Chambiecco affirms.
The song was recorded at WMRC in Kasungu by DJ Wimbe.
Meleka believes as an artist, he is duty bound to spread the word. The song was recorded at Studio 88 by Khumbo Kaliwo.
“I can’t keep quiet as a musician when there is a pandemic in our midst. This is a way of telling lovers of my music that if we are to continue our musical relationship, we must take care and stay safe,” he adds.
Pilo, who has to his name other nasheeds like I am a Muslim and Samu Yochotsera, says using music to spread the Covid-19 awareness takes the message far and wide.
“This is a sure way of getting the message to a wide audience. I feel the song will be shared a lot, with the social media platforms around.
“People enjoy music and we must spread the word through music,” says the artist, who recorded the song himself at Kaptam Media Studios.
Ministry of Health acting deputy director of preventive health services responsible for health education services Mavuto Thomas hailed the musicians’ creative approach to the disease.
“Using art to bring out Covid-19-related message is a sure way of reaching many people. Most importantly, the messages in the songs are not only clear, concise but also correct,” he says.
Adecots executive director Mercy Simbi said apart from music, they will premiere a new TV and radio drama series on the pandemic that has claimed over 50 lives in Malawi since the first cases were diagnosed in the country in April.
“Art puts a human face to the pandemic. Our target is to reach out to people in the 15 to 35 age bracket with a clear message that we are all potential carriers and must follow the set measures to stop the spread of the virus,” she said.