Johannesburg, South Africa – Ten of Africa's biggest musical artists are uniting to record “Stand Together”, a rallying call to all Africans to unite against COVID-19. With artists from seven African countries, the song is a powerful reminder that no one is safe from COVID-19 until everyone is protected from the disease.
The biggest crisis facing Africa today is the COVID-19 pandemic, which comes on top of already high unemployment and poverty levels and is placing an increased strain on struggling healthcare systems. The good news, however, is that we are seeing an unprecedented mobilization of resources and collaboration across the continent in response to the virus.
Building on this collective unity and resolve, the artists are collaborating with the ONE Campaign to launch an anthem to call for solidarity in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, while calling on African leaders to keep standing alongside African citizens in fighting this pandemic.
Participating artists include TuBaba (Nigeria), Ben Pol (Tanzania), Teni (Nigeria), Yemi Alade (Nigeria), Amanda Black (South Africa), Stanley Enow (Cameroon), Gigi la Mayne (South Africa), Prodigio (Angola), Betty G (Ethiopia) and Ahmed Soultan (Morocco). Stand Together was produced by Cobhams Asuquo.
The song is being launched in partnership with ONE, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and MTV Base on Mandela Day, an annual celebration of the life of Nelson Mandela. Stand Together will debut during the annual Nelson Mandela Lecture on Saturday 18 July 3PM SAST/9AM EST.
Edwin Ikhuoria, ONE’s Africa Executive Director stated: “ONE is delighted to collaborate with these 10 fantastic artists, MTV Base and the Nelson Mandela Foundation to release ‘Stand Together’, a beautiful and powerful message to all Africans that we will overcome COVID-19 with a spirit of unity, resolve and shared responsibility. We call on Africa leaders to follow the lead of these artists who are uniting the continent in line with the legacy of Nelson Mandela.”
This year's keynote address will be delivered by the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres under the theme: Tackling the Inequality Pandemic: A New Social Contract for a New Era. Other notable speakers include South African and African Union chair President Ramaphosa and Dr. Graça Machel.
“We have been encouraged by solidarity at so many levels as the world has responded to the challenge of the pandemic. But much more needs to be done. We hope that the coming together of artists in the ONE Campaign will signal a call to such action,” said Nelson Mandela Foundation Chief Executive, Sello Hatang.
Speaking on the collaboration, Monde Twala, Senior Vice President and General Manager for ViacomCBS Networks Africa commented “We are extremely proud and excited to partner with the ONE “Stand Together” campaign uniting all Africans in the fight against Covid-19. As a youth culture platform, it is important to ensure that we reach out and inspire young Africans with a positive message of hope and resilience to help overcome the challenges we all face. We are not alone and stand together, unified, through music and culture.”