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Cyclone Idai as it was called, was a devastating cyclone that cut through Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe earlier this month. The destructive effect of this cyclone was hardly felt across these countries with more than 1000 lives lost and million more displaced. Estimated relief and infrastructural repair cost has being estimated at well over $2 Billion (USD). To this effect the South African Government through the Department of Arts & Culture, has come on board with several mechanism to contribute in helping these countries and their people rebuild their lives. Hence the Department of Art & Culture in a moving and emotional press briefing through the Minister of Arts & Culture, declared:
“The purpose of this press briefing is to announce the involvement of the Department of Arts and Culture in aid of survivors of the devastating Cyclone Idai that hit Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. “
“To date, above the one thousand lives lost, about three million people have been affected, with near total damage in the worst affected areas” The Minister added.
In his call for assisting the victims, the Minister told the gathering of Pan African Musicians and Press at this briefing that in the spirit of “UBUNTU” loosely translated to be “my brothers keeper”, the need to assist and provide meaningful aid to :
- Survivors in mourning…
- Survivors who require us to embrace them as a people joined in common identity of being Africans…
- Survivors who need to witness the African community rise up in embracing and uplifting them in their time of distress and need…
- Survivors who need to experience Humanity that demonstrates beyond mere words of condolences and comfort that it is ready to stand with the afflicted in helping them rebuild and restore some semblance of normalcy despite the lives lost and living rendered in tatters in the face of tragedy. “
The Minister further reminded all artists that a series of “benefit concerts” will be part of the bigger picture among very many other measures to be taken by the Art & Culture Dept to assist victims across these 3 countries – Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Here’s the Minister’s emphasis:
“These ideas include a Benefit Concert to be held during the month of May. The artists involved in that benefit concert will be participating to show solidarity with fellow Afrikans and give back to the same Afrikan communities that have loved and supported them throughout their careers.
Together with the artists gathered here today we have discussed short-term, mid-term, and long term goals of what this “Solidarity With Victims of Cyclone Idai” will entail, and I will leave it to them to explain further.
But allow me to state that ours is not a plan that is a once-off event in the form of a benefit concert: The benefit concert is a short-term goal in response to the urgent need RIGHT NOW. “
If you would like to join forces with The DAC and the #AfrikanArtists4CycloneIdaiAid, follow the # and or contact the DAC directly. Here’s the DAC website