Event, Arts and Entertainment

Africans unite against malaria at the 2021 MTV Africa Day Concert

The Africa Day celebrations on 25 May this year took on a deeper, socially conscious meaning, as young people across the continent united for a common cause –the fight against malaria. In a spectacular Africa Day Concert which was streamed live on YouTube and broadcast on cable TV, ViacomCBS Networks Africa partnered the #DrawTheLine against malaria campaign to raise awareness and drive education about the epidemic amongst young people.  

The 2-hour special which aired on MTV Base (DSTV Channel 322) showcased an explosive lineup of performances from talent pooled across Africa, including Nigerian music stars, Teni, Bella Shmurda and Omah Lay. There were features and special appearances from popular faces on the entertainment scene, including Africa’s premier diva, Angelique Kidjo; award-winning actor, Richard Mofe-Damijo (RMD); Nigerian singer-songwriter, Peter Okoye (Mr. P); popular online comedian Mark Angel; and a host of others.  

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The show was immersed with elements of the #DrawTheLine campaign, prominently displaying the Muundo artwork created by Nigerian-British artist, Laolu Senbanjo in the background. Muundo is the first universal malaria language, comprising lines, symbols and patterns which represent an eye-catching visualization of the actions needed to end malaria once and for all. 

The #DrawTheLine campaign film featuring African stars including Nigerian actress and philanthropist, Dr. Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde; Kenyan Olympic Gold-medalist Eliud Kipchoge; Osas Ighodaro, Sherrie Silver and Siya Kosili played at various intervals throughout the show, with the talents sharing their vision for a malaria-free world.  

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Speaking about the Africa Day collaboration, Lilies Njanga, Africa Director at Malaria No More UK said: “Young people are the future of the fight against malaria. We are delighted to partner with VCNA who represent the energy and voices of the next generation. Together we represent a creative force as we draw the line against malaria, and we invite young people to join us.”  

Monde Twala, Senior Vice President and General Manager at ViacomCBS Networks Africa, expressed the need for increased multisector partnerships across Africa: “The focus on the African content is paramount for VCNA, but so is the wellbeing of Africans, which is embodied by the Zero Malaria campaign. The philosophies of unity, collaboration and showcasing Africa shine through this virtual Africa Day Concert, and VCNA is proud to be part of it.” Young people across the continent are charged to visit www.zeromalaria.org and add a personal line of Muundo art to a growing piece of crowdsourced artwork which represents a visual call to action for world leaders. It’s time to take our futures back.

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