MERCK Foundation has released a track to motivate, support and express gratitude to African frontline medical workers in the fight against the menacing COVID-19.
At a time when morale is low coupled with fatigue from working non-stop to save lives of those infected, the Foundation led by Dr Rasha Kelej, the CEO teamed up musicians from across the continent.
Dr Kelej and One of 100 Most Influential Africans started her own idea of creating an inspiring pan African song called ‘My White Army’ which aims to thank the doctors and nurses fighting on the front lines of the coronavirus battle, who are risking exposure to the virus so everyone else can stay home and stay healthy.
““I am very proud that I have been able to coordinate, direct and produce this gesture of support across 11 African countries through the 11 talented singers in three languages Arabic, English and French. They have amazing voices and great diversity; and are from countries from North, South, East and West Africa. It was very difficult specially during the lockdown, but they were all super cooperative and we finally did it together,” Dr Kelej said.
A Pass from Uganda, Cwesi from Ghana, Kambua from Kenya , Mahmoud Al Leithy from Egypt, Nikki from Nigeria, Rozzy from Sierra Leone, Salatiel from Cameroon, Sean K from Namibia, Sunita from The Gambia, Tom Close from Rwanda and Wezi from Zambia make the line up of artists on the song.
“Salatiel the famous Cameroonian singer who sang with Beyoncé and Pharrell in the latest ‘Lion King’ movie was also part of our song, of course he sang in French, so as Tom Close from Rwanda, both of them represent African French speaking countries.
Moreover, 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 are famous singers in their own countries, sang in English,” explained the Foundation.
This song acknowledges sacrifices by doctors, nurses and medical workers during these tough times in Africa and across the world under the umbrella of my personal initiative, ‘Separated but Connected’.
“Although I am not a professional director or producer as you all know, I have a different career as CEO of Merck Foundation, but I have previous experience in production and presenting TV programs in Abu Dhabi TV. I have also 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. So, I believe I have the talent and experience needed. Most importantly, I have the vision of inclusive Africa, all regions of Africa; North, South, West and East in one work and one Initiative that goes across the whole continent and the whole world” Dr Kelej added.
Listen to the song ‘My White Army’:
Added Dr Kelej,“I strongly believe, it is important for the people on the front line; doctors, nurses and health workers know how grateful we are. I don’t want this to be a one-off thank you, but one that becomes a regular act of gratitude across our communities. I have heard stories of horrible behavior against our health workers, such as, landlords are forcefully evicting them due to paranoia that they might spread COVID -19. It is shocking, illegal and inhuman behavior”.
This is the first time in Africa and may be in the world that 11 singers from 11 African countries in three languages have participated in one song, to support the medical staff during this difficult time.