The invention of medical technology and modern medicine has seen Africa grow into wholesome communities with hope. In an era where you can now buy a self test kit and find out your own HIV/AIDS status in the comfort of your home, dial an emergency contact for counselling and have your drugs delivered right at your doorstep is something no one in the 90s would have ever imagined in their wildest dreams.
Let’s revisit some of the 90s and early 2000s music that sent out warnings about HIV/AIDS. Well, they might sound funny now, but they were in no way amusing back in the day.
The luo- kiswahili hit sensation used the word ‘Mbaya’ Kiswahili for ‘Bad’ to refer to HIV/AIDS. It came with a stern warning that you will die a miserable death and leave your family and everything you own. Those were dark times.
This is one hit everyone’s spot just right. Funny enough, most Kenyans have sang along to it for ages and do not know the actual meaning of the lyrics. It says ‘This man has something that is going to kill him.’ The verses even get more hurtful with lines like ‘How does it feel to take care of a sick person, who you know is going to die.’ Wow! Just Wow!
This became recognized as the AIDS Theme song. Unlike other songs, this was a message of hope urging Africans to stand up and fight AIDS. The video is not eye candy though.
This duo outright referred to HIV/AIDS as ‘mdudu’. ‘Pengine anatuwacha, kesho anachora…’ Bringing to light that even those infected still looked healthy and you’d need to be extra careful. At least they were super positive encouraging those infected to take their meds and eat right and they’ll be fine.
The legendary Lucky Dube took to conscious music to always pass across a strong message. The chorus goes ‘You don’t want to be another number in the book.’ He encouraged people to be responsible.
As musicians have always stood together to send a message of hope to victims of tragedy; Congo Artists came together to release an AIDS song. Just a call to action for everyone to work together and try to fight AIDS.
I just recently learned via Mdundo Social Post that ‘Merimela’ in the song by M.V.P Africa also got infected by HIV/AIDS and still not sure if the illness ‘Rafiki Pesa’ by Shari Martin died from was the same too.
Well, we have come a long way, it’s never really that serious now. Know your status and stay healthy. Let me know if you can think of any more throw backs.