By Margaret Chinowaita, Deputy Entertainment Editor
HARARE – Three great musicians from Zimbabwe and Botswana, superstar Oliver Mtukudzi, king of dancehall, Winky D and Vee of the Taku Taku fame have merged their creative talents to come up with a song to mobilise men for circumcision.
The exciting song entitled If you know you are a champion get circumcised, was launched in Harare on Thursday night. Production of the song was made possible by Population Services International, PSI and the ministry of Health and Child Welfare through their funders.
The track includes distinct traits of the three musicians. Tuku on guitar led the opening part with his deep crooning voice, followed by a part from maverick Winky D. The Bigman was clear in the song with his reggae style.
Vee came in last with a fast danceable flair. The popular Tswana musician is energetic and provides fancy foot work in the video of the song.
PSI said the song would be used to promote male circumcision in 13 countries in the region. The diversity of the musicians would attract a wider audience. Its content which includes three genres of music will appeal to different audiences.
PSI was represented by a strong delegation including its global president and seven board members based in Washington, USA at a function that was held at a local Harare restaurant to launch the single and video.
PSI president, Carl Hoffman said his organisation was present in 60 countries and had employed 6 000 employees dedicated to providing population services. Hoffman said the Zimbabwean case was unique.
“We are present in many countries but very few are as passionate and important as Zimbabwe. This country has been on the conscience of the world because of the challenges that were faced and the tradition to take care of its people. We are moved for the fight for a better Zimbabwe, we salute you for the work you are doing.”
The PSI president said Zimbabwe is a leader in work to alleviate HIV and Aids.
“The government understands the importance of circumcision in the fight against HIV and Aids. Men should not be afraid because they will be in good hands. PSI will continue to stand with Zimbabwe in this fight and many others.”
Dr Nyamayaro a representative of the ministry of Health and Child Welfare said the launch of a new song produced in Zimbabwe to promote male circumcision in 13 countries was noble.
“The male circumcision programme was launched in 2009 with a few clients but now we have circumcised 51 000. We are going to introduce the programme in every province.”
Dr Nyamayaro was positive with the use of music in sending the message.
“Music is part of Africans way of life. We sing at funerals, weddings and other social events. Melodies are used to educate, inform and entertain. In Zimbabwe, music has been used to convey messages and this medium has proven successful.”
Zimbabwe is set to circumcise 1,2 million by 2015. However, mobilisers in the communities expressed concern that numbers of those being circumcised was dwindling and grown men were increasingly shunning the procedure living it to boys.
Grown men mainly fear to be tested for HIV and some ask questions of whether they would be able to perform in bed and bear children afterwards. The song will allay their reservations. It tells men not to fear and take responsibility for their health.
In a line Vee intones, “Men don’t be afraid women in Africa want men that are circumcised” and Winky D croons that, “there is no need to fear, men take responsibility for your health”.
Circumcision is believed to reduce by 60 percent chances of contracting HIV. PSI has mobilisers in communities that rally men and boys for circumcision.
Fatima Musungo of Zvikoshese community group in Kuwadzana extension said at one point over 200 men in the suburb were circumcised during a single month.
“This song will go a long way in convincing reluctant men to get circumcised. It will make our work easier.”
Nellia Meke of a mobilising group based in Mbare expressed optimism that the song would bring more awareness for the need of circumcision.
However, despite circumcision men and women are encouraged to use condoms meant for both sexes, and remain faithful to their partners to avoid HIV. Daily News