A star studded ensemble of 30 Top South African musicians, including Vusi Mahlasela, Amanda Black, Arno Carstens, J’Something, Yvonne Chaka-Chaka, Karen Zoid, Majozi, Ready D, Khuli Chana, Zolani Mahola and more, under the banner of the Mzansi All-Stars, have joined forces to release a campaign with song titled #BecauseWeAre, which aims to encourage unity, resilience, and action.
The song was written by Zolani Mahola and Aron Halevi (who together started Freshlyground) with creative input from Dylan Wray (director of education human rights organisation, Shikaya).
“There is something so precious about co-creation… from the initial impetus to the realisation of the dream. This song is the beginning of a conversation about national unity, about our responsibility to create the society we want to see. I’m excited to be a part of that wonderful future.” – Zolani Mahola
“We want the song to ignite a conversation around how we can emerge from this pandemic even stronger than before, and what we can each do to contribute.” – Aron Halevi
All contributing artists
Amanda Black, Ard Matthews, Arno Carstens, Agape, Bonga Kwana, Buhlebendalo Mda, Cheistar, Craig Hinds, Divine Mahara, Early B, Emo Adams, Francois Van Coke, Gabriela Diamond, Jabulani Mthembu, Jack Parow, J’Something, Jedd Kossew, Jeremy Loops, Jimmy Nevis, Kahn Morbee, Karen Zoid, Khayelitsha United Mambazo, Khuli Chana, Majozi, Ready D, Shane Cooper, Vusi Mahlasela, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Zoë Modiga, Zolani Mahola.
It is fitting that the #BecauseWeAre campaign launches tomorrow as South Africans prepare to mark Mandela Day 2020 as it is more important than ever for individuals, communities and institutions to come together and reflect on where we are as a country, and where we are headed. COVID-19, and the lockdown, have highlighted the fractures in our society and structures, and momentary gestures of goodwill alone will not sustain us through and beyond this unprecedented moment.
The dynamic campaign, led by some of South Africa’s best-loved musicians, will drive a conversation around where we are and where we are headed, how we build resilience as a country and support unity. This conversation will be used as the basis for an education programme encouraging young South Africans to think about their choices and how they can influence their futures. Dylan Wray, director of Shikaya, explains the importance of the campaign reaching young people in particular:
“There is a need and opportunity to plan for a better future. We must develop a new generation who will be ready, willing and able to actively participate in their communities to bring about changes. We are developing active citizenship in classrooms across South Africa and ensuring that our next generation have the skills and values we need to build a more resilient society.”
Launching tomorrow, Saturday, 18 July 2020 (Mandela Day), you can stream or download the #BecauseWeAre song on all major digital platforms globally here: http://platoon.lnk.to/BecauseWeAre (link live tomorrow).