International stars line up to raise funds in the fight against Ebola

Top ranking African musicians have lined up to throw weight behind MTN Group’s efforts to fight the Ebola outbreak.

November 20, 2014

Top ranking African musicians have lined up to throw weight behind MTN Group’s efforts to fight the Ebola outbreak. Several African artists will collaborate to sing a cover version of ‘We are the World’ to help raise much-needed funds to fight Ebola.

The collaboration is the first of its kind in Africa in terms of scale and number of artists involved, and will raise additional funds over and above the US$10 million pledge already made by the MTN Group to the African Union. The song will be available as a digital download in the first week of December. It will be available in Full Track, Tru Tone and Caller Tune formats. All proceeds from sales will be donated to the African Union.

Approximately 70 artists, made up mostly of MTN ambassadors and friends from all corners of Africa have confirmed their availability to record. Local artists who have confirmed include Donald, Mafikizolo, Lloyd Cele, Loyiso, Matthew Gold, Elvis Blue, Kurt Darren, The Arrows, MTN Joyous Celebration and Dr. Rebecca Malope. They will be joined by renowned artists from across the continent including Sean Tizzle (Nigeria), Jose Chameleone (Uganda), R2BEES (Ghana), Fally (DRC), Wax Dey (Cameroon), SK Originale (Ghana), Shinsoman (Zimbabwe), Gigi LaMayne (Zimbabwe), Davido (Nigeria), Chidinma (Nigeria), Sound Sultans (Nigeria), K-Cee (Nigeria), Diamond (Tanzania) and Banky W (Nigeria). Lindelani Mkhize is the lead producer of the song.

“Considering that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that there could be as many as 10,000 new EVD (Ebola Virus Desease) cases per week by December 2014, we needed to take immediate action,” says Larry Annetts, Chief Marketing Officer at MTN SA. “A solid and original musical production of this nature is dependent on availability of artists, sufficient time to compose and produce original lyrics and instrumentation as well as adequate time to observe copyright and publishing administration. ‘We are the world’ was readily available for us to utilise for this campaign and has a positive history in raising awareness and funds for socially responsible projects. We believe it will achieve the desired results to assist in efforts to fight Ebola with the support of African artists, businesses and the public.”

Annetts adds: “MTN has always been and remains a proud supporter of South African music and artists. Our history in the sponsorship of awards that recognise local talent and our continuous relationship with various music entities such as MTN Joyous Celebration and Mafikizolo is testament to this. We will continue to support original South African productions and are planning the release of an original song featuring local and African artists in the new year. We will make the necessary announcements in the near future.”

MTN customers can also donate towards the cause by sending ‘Let’s End Ebola’ to 48866. SMS costs R10. MTN customers can download the Full tracks and Tru Tone for R10 or make it their Caller Tune for R3 by dialling *123*55#. Alternatively, the public can logon to www.mtnplay.co.za to download.

“At MTN we are humbled to be part of this initiative where we leverage on mobile telephony and the pervasive power of music to make a positive change. We are also proud to be part of a rich African community that is willing to give its time, skills and creativity for free to be an agent of change in someone else’s life.”

“We are confident that our subscribers in South Africa and across the continent will support this initiative and rally behind us and the artists as we spread this message of hope,” concludes Annetts.