DAKAR (Reuters) – Wearing hooded medical fits and protecting goggles, Senegal’s activist hip-hop group Y’en a Marre rap about washing fingers, disposing of used tissues and avoiding crowds of their newest launch: ‘Protect towards Coronavirus.’
The brand new video here marks a sudden change for the collective, named ‘Sufficient is Sufficient’ in French slang, which has a historical past of difficult authority, preventing social injustice – and urging Senegal’s younth to hit the streets to protest the federal government.
However when African international locations confirmed their first coronavirus circumstances this month, the group supplied to assist the federal government persuade folks to take the illness critically, in an effort to cease it ripping by way of Africa because it has by way of China, Europe and America, killing hundreds.
“As quickly as we noticed that issues had been going from dangerous to worse, we went to see the well being ministry,” stated Y’en a Marre’s Malal Talla, whose rapper alias interprets as Sick Mad Man.
“We needed to contribute how we might,” Talla stated on the group’s headquarters within the crowded working class Dakar suburb of Guediawaye, the place they work to assist deprived youth.
Senegal declared a state of emergency on Monday and imposed a curfew in response to the pandemic. It has confirmed over 80 circumstances, making it the second-worst affected nation in West Africa after Burkina Faso.
After listening to Y’en a Marre’s track, the well being ministry allowed the group to movie its video in one of many capital’s major hospitals, the place they posed as laboratory technicians, rapping as they examined check tubes and peered down microscopes.
“Prevention is best than therapy. The world is in misery,” the refrain intones, its plucked accompaniment giving the monitor a particular West African lilt.
The video has attracted hundreds of views and likes on social media since its launch final Thursday.
West Africa has lengthy raised public well being consciousness by way of track. In 2014, musical heavyweights resembling Salif Keita banded collectively to launch ‘Africa Cease Ebola’ within the face of the epidemic that killed over 11,300.
Sitting in a courtyard painted with murals of black icons resembling Nelson Mandela and Angela Davis, Talla stated music had a significant function to play.
“In Africa, music shouldn’t be the artwork of mixing sounds,” he stated. “It’s not only for dancing and leaping, it’s additionally a approach one can increase consciousness with pleasure.”
Reporting by Estelle Ndjandjo and Christophe Van der Perre; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Modifying by Edward McAllister and Alexandra Hudson