MUSIC is considered a powerful tool and its influence has played a significant role in disseminating HIV and Aids-related information globally.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
In an effort to raise awareness and educate people in the fight against this epidemic through art, artists across genres have combined their voices to release a World Aids Day theme song as the nation joins the world today to commemorate Aids day.
World Aids Day, commemorated on December 1, every year since 1988, is an international day dedicated to raising awareness about the Aids pandemic caused by the HIV virus, and mourning those who have died of the disease
This year, the global theme of World Aids Day is Ending the HIV/Aids Epidemic: Resilience & Impact.
The theme focuses on the global commitment to deliver quality, people-centred HIV prevention and treatment services. It also speaks to strengthening the capacity and resilience of communities and health systems in dealing with HIV prevention services in the midst of a global pandemic.
In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style yesterday, Fungisai Zvakavapano-Mashavave (pictured), who is the National Aids Council and National Arts Council of Zimbabwe World Aids Day committee chairperson responsible for engaging local artist to push the Aids day agenda, said the song was a ground-breaking initiative that brought together artist to raise awareness on HIV/Aids among the citizenry.
“This development mirrors the implementation of the recently published National Development Strategy One (NDS1), which vision reflects the collective aspirations towards vision 2030. Especially with reference to items 33 and 34 In the NDS1, item 33 states that health is a fundamental human right in terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” she said.
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“Improved health is central to human happiness, wellbeing. Item 34 states that the overall outcome of the health and wellbeing priority area during the NDS1 period is to improve quality of life, increase life expectancy at birth, benefiting from underlying strengths within the health system that include; a skilled, knowledgeable, professional healthy workforce and firm foundations of primary health and hospital care and improved quality of public health expenditure.”
Fungisai said artist were key players in disseminating messages through their various acts which include music, poetry and theatre.
“The role of artists in the HIV/Aids awareness campaign is influential. Through music and other art forms, we can educate the people and as a result reduce and eradicate HIV and Aids, and sexually-related health issues among the citizens,” she said.
“People see artists as role models that light up their lives thus can influence them into leading a healthy lifestyle. Artists can entertain their fans and at the same time educate them on different ways they can protect their lives.”
Fungisai said the coming together of the artists was an opportunity to impact the nation positively.
“It is more about the expression and packaging of HIV/Aids messages which has played a significant role in the reduction of HIV-related deaths and our current low HIV prevalence rate. Musicians, comedians, poets, theatre and visual artists have all come together to stage very exciting week-long virtual World Aids Day celebrations,” she said.
“Artists are important in society as they convey messages to the people. When artists communicate, they are listened to, they represent the citizens. So artists are essential for conveying powerful messages across different disciplines,” she said.
Fungisai is working with deputy Willis Watafi, Washington Masenda from NATCAZ, Loveness Mainato representing people with albinism, Patience Maredza representing the visual arts, Hope Munyari for choral music, Diana Samkange, Tinashe Mutero representing people living with disabilities, Finto Fred Farai representing the spoken word.