In what has now become a global way of showing support and appreciation to medical workers around the world, during coronavirus battle, Dr. Rasha Kelej, the chief executive of Merck Foundation has created an inspiring pan African song.
The song dubbed ‘My White Army’ aims to thank doctors and nurses on the front lines of the coronavirus battle, risking exposure to the virus so everyone else can stay healthy.
Dr Rasha, voted last year as one of 100 Most Influential Africans, says she is very proud being able to coordinate, direct and produce a gesture of support across 11 African countries through the 11 talented singers in three languages Arabic, English, and French.
The singers were drawn from countries in North, South, East and West Africa.
They include Tom Close from Rwanda, A Pass from Uganda, Cwesi from Ghana, Kambua from Kenya, Mahmoud Al Leithy from Egypt, and Nikki from Nigeria.
Others are Rozzy from Sierra Leone, Salatiel from Cameroon, Sean K from Namibia, Sunita from The Gambia and Wezi from Zambia.
The song is geared at acknowledging the great sacrifice of our doctors, nurses and medical workers during these tough times in Africa and across the world under the umbrella of my personal initiative, ‘Separated but Connected’, Dr Rasha said in a statement.
Salatiel, the famous Cameroonian singer who sang with Beyoncé and Pharrell in the latest ‘Lion King’ movie was also part of the song, singing in French, as well as Rwanda’s Tom Close, both representing African French speaking countries.
Mahmoud AL Leithy, a famous singer and actor from Egypt sang his part in Arabic to represent African Arabic speaking countries.
The rest of the group, famous singers in their own countries, sang in English.
The lyrics and music writer was Cwesi from Ghana.
Dr Rasha is not a professional director or producer but she has previous experience in production and presenting TV programs in Abu Dhabi TV.
She has also produced and directed many documentaries aimed to break the stigma around infertile women and to empower women and girls in education in Africa and Asia as part of Merck Foundation’s programs.
“This song is my personal contribution to COVID-19 response. But at the professional level, through Merck Foundation, we have raced to respond to coronavirus in Africa in partnership with 18 First Ladies in four main focus areas which include; supporting the livelihood of thousands of casual workers and women during the lockdown…”
This is believed to be the first time in Africa and probably in the world that 11 singers from 11 African countries in three languages have participated in one song, to support the medical staff during this difficult time.