To commemorate the International Day of Nelson Mandela, the ONE Campaign and 10 major African artists have released a music track calling for the world to join in solidarity to fight COVID-19.
According to the statement released on One Campaign website, the music track was recorded in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and MTV Base.
“Stand Together” is a solidarity anthem featuring some of Africa’s biggest music stars: 2Baba, Ahmed Soultan, Ben Pol, Teni, Yemi Alade, Amanda Black, Stanley Enow, Gigi La Mayne, Prodigio and Betty G.
The song was produced by Nigeria’s Cobhams Asuquo. The artists were from countries such as Nigeria, Tanzania, South Africa, Cameroon, Angola, Ethiopia, and Morocco.
Nigerian Afropop singer and songwriter, Yemi Alade said, “These songs don’t always come around, so it’s always a breath of fresh air when you get to listen to songs like this.”
The song was launched during the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture 2020 and featured remarks from UN Secretary-General António Guterres around the theme of tackling inequality during COVID-19.
“It’s a necessary move for us as artists to join together and to do more of these activities to serve the community,” said Ben Pol, Tanzanian artist.
“Our job is … to inspire people and to sort of comfort them, and make them see it’s us. It’s only us, and we’ll never be ok until all of us are ok,” Amanda Black explained.
Speaking during Nelson Mandela Annual lecture 2020 on Saturday, tagged “Tackling the Inequality Pandemic: A New Social Contract for a New Era”, Mr Guterres sent his deepest condolences to the Mandela family and to the Government and people of South Africa on the untimely passing of Zindzi Mandela earlier this week.
The statement reads in part: “I thank the Nelson Mandela Foundation for this opportunity and commend their work to keep his vision alive. And I send my deepest condolences to the Mandela family and to the Government and people of South Africa on the untimely passing of Ambassador Zindzi Mandela earlier this week. May she rest in peace.
“I was fortunate enough to meet Nelson Mandela several times. I will never forget his wisdom, determination and compassion, which shone forth in everything he said and did.
“Last August, I visited Madiba’s cell at Robben Island. I stood there, looking through the bars, humbled again by his enormous mental strength and incalculable courage. Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison, 18 of them at Robben island. But he never allowed this experience to define him or his life.
“Nelson Mandela rose above his jailers to liberate millions of South Africans and become a global inspiration and a modern icon.
“He devoted his life to fighting the inequality that has reached crisis proportions around the world in recent decades – and that poses a growing threat to our future.
“And so today, on Madiba’s birthday, I will talk about how we can address the many mutually reinforcing strands and layers of inequality, before they destroy our economies and societies”, he added.