Entertainment

Rasha Kelej joins 11 African musicians to compose song to fight Coronavirus

The CEO of Merck Foundation, Dr. Rasha Kelej, has joined forces with eleven top musicians across the African continent to compose a song to motivate medical professionals involved in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The inspirational song, dubbed “My White Army”, is also to appreciate the efforts of these experts as they contribute their quota towards the eradication of the illness.

The music personalities, who were selected based on their amazing voices and great diversity, are from countries in the North, South, East, and West Africa.

They are: Pass from Uganda, Cwesi Oteng from Ghana, Kambua from Kenya, Mahmoud Al Leithy from Egypt, Nikki from Nigeria, and Rozzy from Sierra Leone.

The others include Salatiel from Cameroon, Sean K from Namibia, Sunita from The Gambia, Tom Close from Rwanda, and Wezi from Zambia.

The song

The star-studded song was written by Cwesi Oteng and produced by Dr. Kelej.

Two of the musicians, Salatiel (the famous Cameroonian singer who sang with Beyoncé and Pharrell in the latest ‘Lion King’ movie), and Tom Close from Rwanda, sang their parts in French.

Mahmoud AL Leithy, a famous singer and actor from Egypt, sang his part in Arabic to represent African Arabic speaking countries.

The rest of the group sang theirs in English.

The coronavirus song is the first of its kind in Africa and other parts of the world.

Initiative

Speaking on the composition of the song, Dr. Kelej said the masterpiece is to acknowledge the great sacrifice of doctors, nurses, and medical staff who are working tirelessly during the pandemic.

Despite her non-involvement in professional directing and production currently, Dr. Kelej revealed that she had previously worked in production and TV presentation in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

She said: “I have produced and directed many documentaries with the aim to break the stigma around infertile women and to empower women and girls in education in Africa and Asia as part of Merck Foundation programs.

“I am very proud that I have been able to coordinate, direct and produce this gesture of support across eleven African countries through the 11 talented singers in three languages: Arabic, English, and French.”

Challenges

Dr. Kelej revealed that it was extremely difficult to put together the set of musicians to compose the song, citing the lockdown as one major reason, but said all the parties involved had cooperated to the success of the song.

She also bemoaned the treatment being meted out to health personnel as a result of their efforts to clamp down on the virus.

“I have heard stories of horrible behavior against our health workers. There have been speculations that some landlords are forcefully evicting them due to paranoia that they might spread COVID -19. It is shocking, illegal, and inhuman behavior.”

Other initiatives 

The Merck Foundation has already joined forces with 18 African first ladies to help in addressing issues related to the pandemic on the continent.

The project comprises four areas which include; supporting the livelihood of thousands of casual workers and women during the lockdown and the launch of the “Stay at Home’ Media Recognition Awards.

The other two include; launching an inspiring children’s storybook ‘Make the Right Choice’ to sensitize children and youth about Coronavirus, as well as building healthcare capacity through providing a one-year online diploma for African doctors in Respiratory medicines and Acute Medicines.

 

Please listen to ‘My White Army’ using the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIgBlUpERrA&feature=youtu.be

 

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