A new version of ‘We Are The World’ has been recorded by some of African’s biggest stars in support of the fight against xenophobia as well as Ebola. Launched recently at the 2015 MTN Radio Awards in Johannesburg on 18 April, the song features some 180 artists from across the continent, performing under the name Africa Against Ebola and Xenophobia. The project showcases the beauty made possible when people from Africa work together.
The star-studded line-up includes Nigerian artists Praiz, Tiwa Savage, Emma Nyra,D’Prince, Reekado Banks, Di’Ja, Harrysong, Victor Pedro, Yemi Alade, Banky W, Sean Tizzle, Dr Sid, Mosa, Emmy Gee, Patoranking, Kcee, Iceberg and Don Jazzy. From South Africa are Joyous Celebration, Thembisile Ntaka, Kurt Darren,Mafikizolo, Mahotella Queens, Elvis Blue, Sfiso Ncwane, Pastor Jabu Hlongwane, MXO, Thandiswa Mazwai, Donald, Khaya Mthethwa, Steve Kekana, Ziyon, RazorKutt, Moneoa, Kelly Khumalo, PJ Powers, Danny K, Lloyd Cele, Mathew Gold, Loyiso, Zamo and RJ Benjamin. Also involved are Zimbabwean musicians Gigi LaMayne, Melly Mel, LyM-C and Thaiwanda Thai, Gabriela and Lizha James from Mozambique, as well as Diamond (Tanzania), Liz Ogumbo (Kenya), Wax Dey (Cameroon) and others.
In the spirit of presenting a united music industry against xenophobia, broadcasters were encouraged to simultaneously play the song on Thursday 23 April at 7:45am, and then to continue to play the song thereafter to help raise support for the fight against both xenophobia and Ebola.
The song was written in 1985 by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, produced by Quincy Jones and recorded by a group of prominent artists under the name USA For Africa to raise international awareness and funds for the famine in Ethiopia. It was a number one hit around the world, won four Grammys in 1986 and is believed to be one of about 30 singles to have ever sold over 10 million copies worldwide. In February 2010, the song was recorded again as ‘We Are The World 25 For Haiti’, following the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti that claimed over 230 000 lives and left over a million people homeless.