Leading Somali Musician, Aar Maanta, and Somali music producers, Waqal Studio, have announced a new collaboration with some of the most popular artists in the Somali music industry on a group song to raise awareness about the dangers of coronavirus in Somalia, which remains a threat across the country.
This collaboration, one of the first of its kind among Somali artists, was written by Abdirahman Fili and features leading singers Suldan Seeraar, Hodan Abdirahman, Cabdi Hani, Yurub Geenyo, Abdirisaq Anshax and Nadiira Nayruus. The song and music video, which is supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), encourages people to follow public health guidelines by staying 2m apart, regularly washing hands with soap and staying at home if possible.
“This unique collaboration brings together some of the most influential Somali artists to help people stay vigilant, because COVID-19 hasn’t gone away and is even getting worse in many places around us,” said Dr Hodan Ahmed Hashi , who demonstrates how to wear a mask in the video . “The need for our collective voice has never been greater and we hope this special song, as well as advice and guidance from health professionals, will save lives by reminding people that COVID-19 is still dangerous and still with us.”
The initiative is the latest part of an extensive UNDP campaign to take advantage of Somalia’s rich oral culture by engaging poets, comedians, singers and other artists to make sure people receive crucial health messages.
“It’s never an easy ask to get people to make changes in their daily lives to fight an invisible threat,” said Jocleyn Mason, UNDP Somalia’s Resident Representative. “But artists like Aar Maanta can turn health messages into something magical that people will want to listen to and are more likely to take onboard.”
Through promotion on radio, TV and through the singers’ individual social media networks, the song is expected to reach millions of people across the country and the diaspora. Similar UNDP campaigns have already reached more than 10 million people via TV and radio broadcasts and through online platforms.
“This project has given Somali Artists the opportunity to work together and forge new partnerships and we will not stop here,” said Aar Maanta. “Together we will defeat COVID-19 and continue to help our people and be part of other important national campaigns.”