Musicians have previously been blamed for their lack of commitment towards the fight against the global Covid-19 pandemic.
But the tide seems to be turning. A few days after Lucius Banda released a single on the Covid-19 theme, four urban musicians Hyphen, BarryOne, Saint and Ritaa have teamed up on a similar project.
The quartet has come up with a new perspective in an effort to curb the growing threat of the pandemic in their new single Osaphweketsa. The song highlights the gaps that have emanated from wrong attitudes and perceptions that people are showing.
Osaphweketsa, which has a dominant urban youthful appeal, talks about the carelessness some sections of the society are showing in the face of the raging pandemic. It talks about gaps in the social circle where people are still holding parties and reckless attitude shown by public transport operators.
The four artists have all underlined their individual strengths by showing a great deal of understanding to bring out a coordinated artistic package.
The song begins with an invitation from dancehall artist Saint who calls rapper Hyphen informing him of a party he is having at home.
Hyphen responds in his verse: “Koma mukuti ndi chani? Uduli kodi? Kunamizana kuti sikuli Covid? Magaye nde akudiwa ona ma report. Boma layesetsa nafe tipange support. Ukundimva?
In an interview, BarryOne said the song is a campaign called Osaphweketsa and they are calling on the corporate world to partner them so that they can take the message very far. He said the song has been inspired by the devastation that Covid-19 has caused on the world.
“The rise in numbers has come about partly because of lack of civic education. In the song we are providing insights and tips on how we can prevent this rise of cases. We are providing real life situations so that people can relate and act accordingly,” said the rapper.
Hyphen said the project will be presented as drama series and what has been presented now is the first episode. He said they have presented the song in a manner to keep people engaged and feel part of the solution.
He said: “As artists we have large numbers of people following us. And for some it is easy to adopt and use messages that are coming from people they look up to. We have a job to sensitise people to how they can keep themselves and their communities safe.”
On her part Ritaa said: “I feel duty bound to use my talent to raise awareness about the pandemic. This is what the industry needs. People need to come together because if we unite we become stronger.” The song does not belong to either of the four artists as they are calling it a collaborative effort which also includes the song producers Propee, Sispence and Tricky Beatz, according to Saint. It has been released together with its video.