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Nigeria’s A-list musicians, Davido and Burna Boy, are lining up alongside other African music stars to perform at an online concert to be hosted by Hollywood actor, Idris Elba.

Tagged ‘African Day Benefit Concert at Home,’ the concert is being held to celebrate the African Union which was established on May 25, 1963 to fight colonialism.

It is also a humanitarian effort to raise funds for those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The concert will be streamed on Africa’s giant music channel, MTV Base Africa, and YouTube on Monday, a statement by organisers said on Wednesday.

“The two-hour special will raise funds to support food and health needs for children and families in Africa affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the World Food Programme and UNICEF who are supporting COVID-affected communities across Africa,” the statement read.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the potential impact of COVID -19 on food security in Africa is likely to exacerbate the already existing burden of malnutrition.

As of Thursday morning, more than 95,000 people have been infected with the virus in Africa with 2,995 deaths resulting from it.

The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, in a press statement said the impact of the disease is expected to be greater among those grappling with food scarcity and malnutrition.

The World Food Programme (WFP) director for Southern Africa,Lola Castro, was also quoted in the statement as saying: “We are concerned about the prospect of COVID-19 causing a hunger catastrophe.”

Buoyed by this fear, the humanitarian concert seeks to tackle challenges of food shortage and health.

All funds raised will go to the World Food Program and the UNICEF who are supporting coronavirus-affected communities across Africa, according to the statement from YouTube and ViacomCBS Network Africa.

The concert will feature musical performances from Nigeria’s Burna boy, Davido, Adekunle Gold,Niniola, Tiwa Savage,Teni, Yemi Alade and Ricardo Banks, Benin’s Angelique Kidjo, Kenya’s Sauti Sol, South Africa’s Sho Madjozi.

Other African stars to be featured are Toofan, AKA, Diamond Platnumz, Fally Ipupa, Nasty C, Sho Madjozi, StoneBwoy, Bebe Cool, Busiswa, C4 Pedro, M.anifest, Salif Keita, DJ Maphorisa & KABZA De Small.

South African comedian Trevor Noah, reigning Miss Universe, Zozibini Tunzi are part of the concert’s line up presenters.

It will also feature messages from renowned personalities like Omari Hardwick, Ludacris, Sean Paul, Anthony Hamilton, Nomzamo Mbatha, Fat Joe, and Winston Duke, according to the organizers.

Rise of virtual concert

The music industry has been dealt a blow by COVID-19 as earnings from showbiz continue to plummet, prompting artists to explore the online space to keep up with their fans.

From trying to remain in business to keeping up with fans, artistes are using music as a tool in the fight against coronavirus.

Last month, Lady Gaga curated ‘One World: Together at Home,’ a live-streamed and televised benefit concert in support of the World Health Organization’s Covid-19 solidarity response fund and in celebration of health workers around.

It was a star-studded concert with Nigeria’s Burna Boy joining the lineup of a-listers.

Meanwhile across the continent, music stars have also created songs and talks to educate the public about the physical distancing and hygiene recommendations.

2baba, Waje, Davido, Asa and other acclaimed African musicians, including Grammy award-winning Angelique Kidjo, are performing free virtual concerts on Instagram and Youtube because of the coronavirus lockdown.

Ms Kidjoare released a song in May to spread global awareness on the dangers of Covid-19.

YouTube’s Managing Director of Emerging Markets in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Alex Okosi, said in the statement that the concert would use African music to connect the world.

YouTube is proud to be a platform for the amazing talent that have come to celebrate Africa Day and play a role in helping raise funds for those affected by Covid-19 on the continent,” he said.

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