The Merck CEO in a statement said doctors and nurses fighting on the front lines of the Coronavirus battle are risking exposure to the virus on behalf of everyone hence producing the song.
“I am very proud that I have been able to create, coordinate and direct this gesture of support across 11 African countries through the 11 talented singers in three languages Arabic, English and French. They have amazing voices and great diversity; and are from countries from North, South, East and West Africa. It was very difficult especially during the lockdown, but they were all super cooperative and we finally did it together,” said Kelej
She said she was highly touched by the selfless spirit of all medics who have been at the frontline of the war against COVID-19 across the globe.
“This song is to acknowledge 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’.
“Salatiel the famous Cameroonian singer who sang with Beyoncé and Pharrell in the latest ‘Lion King’ movie was also part of our song, of course he sang in French, so as Tom Close from Rwanda, both of them represent African French speaking countries. Moreover, Mahmoud ALLeithy, a famous singer and actor from Egypt sang his part in Arabic to represent African Arabic speaking countries. The rest of the group are famous singers in their own countries, sang in English,” added Kelej.
The song is kelej’s personal contribution to COVID-19 response. But at the professional level, Merck Foundation has raced to respond to Coronavirus in Africa in partnership with 18 First Ladies in four main focus areas.
In its response the Foundation is supporting the livelihood of thousands of casual workers and women during the lockdown, launching the “Stay at Home’ Media Recognition Awards, launching an inspiring children storybook ‘Make the Right Choice’ to sensitize children and youth about Coronavirus and building healthcare capacity through providing online one year diploma for African doctors in Respiratory Medicines and Acute Medicines”.
The harmony of the song has been weaved by voices of; A Pass from Uganda, Cwesi from Ghana, Kambua from Kenya, Mahmoud Al Leithy from Egypt, Nikki from Nigeria, Rozzy from Sierra Leone, Salatiel from Cameroon, Sean K from Namibia, Sunita from The Gambia,Tom Close from Rwanda and Wezi from Zambia.
The song can be accessed on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIgBlUpERrA&feature=youtu.be