Some African musicians have ‘risen to the occasion’ with the launch of their own Ebola campaign song intended to be an alternative to Bob Geldo’s “Do They Know Its Christmas?” which was released just last week. Celebrities including Bono, One Direction, Rita Ora, Chris Martin did a remix of the popular Band Aid 30’s song in an effort to raise money for the fight against Ebola in Africa.
“Africa stop Ebola” has sold 250,000 copies since it’s unofficial release earlier this month with all proceeds going to medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF). The launch on Monday was intended to kick-off a December campaign using song merchandise including T-shirts, flyers, posters, a video with English subtitles and a social media campaign to raise awareness about the disease.
Tiken Jah Fakoly, a renowned Ivorian musician devoted to raising awareness about the disease said he was touched by TV images of people in quarantine in the Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. “When I saw those terrible images, I called the other musicians and said that we have to do something to sensitize the people about this disease,” said Fakoly.
On Band Aid 30’s song, Fakoly said “I praise Bob Geldof’s initiative and he has raised a lot of money, but we must try and avoid stigmatizing Africa as a continent that needs pity.”