Covid-19 in Africa: Avant-garde music

Beyond its character of softening morals, music is an instrument of free and independent expression that serves not only to claim, but also to propose. It is with this in mind that musicians in Africa are playing a pioneering role in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. An overview.

“To date, the only available and effective vaccine is called the Prudence. It is not expensive and would be available to everyone”, said the platform coordinator Africtivist, Sheikh Fall in a tweet a few days ago. With a precarious health system in many African countries, the usual preventive measures are to prevail, and on this, several voices from the cultural, if not musical world have risen up to challenge the populations to take responsibility for this pandemic. Some national and international organizations are now calling on musicians to successfully convey awareness messages against Covid-19. On the Internet, whether it be excerpts from videos or in acapela, many African artists have committed themselves to this fight against the pandemic in the service of the population.

In Senegal, the movement Y’en Marre, known for his position of counterweight and counter-power preferred in this time of crisis the sacred union by mobilizing the Senegalese population through awareness-raising gestures (distribution of masks, hydro-alcoholic gels, etc.). Composed of rappers, Y’en a marre launched a video clip “Fagaru Ci Coronavirus” which means “prevent coronavirus” in Wolof, released on March 19.

Le Ghana is a rapper who knows a lot about the disease and he is very knowledgeable. Percy Akuetteh, the rapper plunges us into an atypical style, rap in Mandarin Medical student at the prestigious Wenzhou Medical University, in Pulse Ghana. Dr. Percy combines in his rap his status as a future doctor with that of a spokesperson for the voiceless to raise awareness of the pandemic among Ghanaians and also to pay a vibrant tribute to the city of Wuhan, the epicentre of Covid-19.

In Chad, while the whole world is facing the Covid-19 pandemic, the country is facing two “wars”, one against the pandemic and another against the Islamic sect Boko Haram. It was during the serious health crisis that the Boko Haram sect struck the Chadian army with full force, causing many casualties in the Lake Chad region. On social networks, Chadians mobilized behind the army and also on the other hand to face preventive measures against Coronavirus. Many artists (N2A, Ray’s Kim, Sultan, Abdoulaye Nderguet, Mélodji, Bokal…) have spoken out on the health situation through audio productions and community outreach. There is also the Syndicat Toumaï Rap, which is made up of the pioneers of Chadian rap and the new generation that has made a remarkable exit to fight the pandemic in Chad.

In Uganda, it is the main opponent of the current president who comes into play Bobi Wine, a singer and member of the assembly, wore his singer’s coat to alert the Ugandan population to the dangers of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The role that music played in this fight is to be commended. Most of the messages are in local languages. This allows a penetration in remote areas and will also help to remove doubts about prejudices observed in Africa regarding the pandemic.

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