Local musicians produce HIV awareness song



Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
LOCAL musicians have teamed up to produce a song, Knock Knock Knock, to encourage people to participate in a national HIV and Aids survey that is being rolled out in Zimbabwe.

The Afro pop song, a Zimbabwe Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (ZIMPHIA) initiative, is sung in nine languages by Albert Nyathi, Tererai Mugwadi, Bob Nyabinde, Pauline Gundidza, Derrick Mpofu, Flem B, Mono Mukundu and Adiona Maboreke Chidzonga.

As part of efforts to communicate to Zimbabweans that the survey was important, ZIMPHIA had approached Nyathi, who is also an activist, to come up with an awareness song. Nyathi then roped in other artistes last year to compose lyrics before recording the song at Clive Mono Mukundu’s Monolio Studios in Harare.

At the beginning of the song, Nyathi explains the ZIMPHIA exercise: “After a decade of successful scaling up of HIV prevention and treatment efforts in Zimbabwe, now is the time to assess the effects of HIV in our nation. Now is the right moment to take stock of what has been achieved in confronting the HIV epidemic in Zimbabwe and define the way forward.”

The song is sung in English, Shona, Ndebele, Sotho, Kalanga, Nambia, Tonga, Venda and Shangani.

Siyeza ngakuwe Qoki, Qoki, Qoki, Touya kwamuri, Gogogoi Gogogoi,” are some of the chorus lyrics.

Nyathi said they had included a lot of languages to promote cultural inclusivity.

“I decided to incorporate various languages in order to reach various communities, in languages they understand better, so that they appreciate the importance of the survey.

“It’s also in line with the constitution that recognises these languages,” said Nyathi.

ZIMPHIA communications officer Rosemary Muchengeti said the song was recorded to help to dispel discomfort and change people’s negative perceptions about the whole exercise.

Last year, the government embarked on a $3 million national HIV and Aids survey, offering HIV testing and counselling services. The exercise is meant to ascertain the burden of HIV and Aids in the country and assess the impact of interventions rolled out so far.

“Participation in the survey is voluntary, so getting public buy-in is vital for data collection. Knock Knock Knock is one way ZIMPHIA hopes to spread the word,” said Muchengeti.

She said the song, released this month, was receiving airplay on most local radio stations. Its video, which was also shot at the Monolio Studios, is being shown on ZBCtv. It is also available on video sharing site – YouTube.

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