As the COVID-19 continues to disenfranchise lots of musicians and artists across the African continent, some are using their skills to pass on awareness of the epidemic
A group of Tanzanian artists have released a track titled ‘Songa Mbele’ which is Swahili for ‘move forward.’ The song was composed by musicians Leo Mkanyia, Paul Ndunguru, Kauzeni Lyamba, Hassan Mahenge, Abuu Masika, Samson Naamala, Shabo Makota, and Esau.
The song was a tribute to two fellow African singers who succumbed to the COVID-19 pandemic while in Paris, France. Manu Dibango and Aurlus Mabele are well known for their contribution to the African music industry. The song was composed by Mkanyia, who turned it into an initiative that aims to raise money for those who have lost loved ones to the virus.
Dibango shook the continent with the 1972 hit, Soul Makossa. The Cameroonian musician was regarded by many as a genius on the saxophone.
Congolese singer Aurlus Mabele, popularly known as the ‘King of Soukous’ was another victim of the global coronavirus pandemic. Known for hit singles such as Liste Rouge and Embargo, the 67-year-old passed away at a Paris hospital. Reports from friends and family indicate the high-tempo dance superstar died from the COVID-19.
The lyrics of the ‘Songa Mbele’ track educate the public on precaution measures they should take against the virus. The track will soon be available on Spotify and Amazon, and the proceeds will be channeled to charity.
Another Tanzanian artist Mwana Fa, known for his hit songs “Bado nipo nipo” tested positive for the coronavirus in March. The Bongo Flava artist took to his social handle to sensitize the public on the need to observe personal hygiene and other precaution measures.
Thus far there are 53 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Tanzania, of which 7 fully recovered and 3 lost their lives. Globally the number of cases is just under 2 million, with over 126,000 fatalities.
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