ViacomCBS Networks Africa and YouTube have partnered with British actor and producer Idris Elba to host a home-based benefit concert for Africa Day.
The May 25 concert is aimed at raising funds to support the World Food Programme and Unicef in their work to help African children and families affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
African musicians performing from home for the concert include Davido (Nigeria), Burna Boy (Nigeria), Bebe Cool (Uganda), Busiswa (South Africa), C4 Pedro (Angola) and Reekado Banks (Nigeria)
There will also be special messages from South African comedian and author Trevor Noah, the host of Comedy Central US’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah; reigning Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi; American rapper and actor Ludacris; and UN Goodwill ambassador and actress Nomzamo Mbatha, among many others.
Elba, who has recovered from Covid-19 after being diagnosed in April, said the concert would provide “a moment to shine a light on African arts to benefit the African homeland and its people.”
The star of TV series including The Wire and Luther and movies such as Pacific Rim added: “A continent of this size should find a way to dig deep and stand up for one another at a time like this. It’s important for the future, and history will not forget.”
Monde Twala, senior VP and general manager for ViacomCBS Networks Africa, said: “We are proud to have formidable partners and talent on board as we tackle this unprecedented humanitarian crisis. ViacomCBS Networks Africa is proud to work alongside YouTube to support the World Food Programme and Unicef in their efforts.”
Alex Okosi, YouTube MD of emerging markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, added: “African Music is powerful in its ability to uplift and connect the world. YouTube is proud to be a platform for the amazing talent that have come to celebrate Africa Day and play a role in helping to raise funds for those affected by Covid-19 on the continent.”
Lola Castro, the World Food Programme’s regional director for Southern Africa, said: “With so many people on the continent already acutely food-insecure, we are extremely concerned about the prospect of Covid-19 causing a hunger catastrophe.”
On May 25, the benefit concert will stream on MTV Base Africa’s YouTube channel at 18:00 CAT and across TV networks MTV Base (DStv channel 322), MTV (DStv 130), BET Africa (DStv 129) and Comedy Central (DStv 122) at 21:00 CAT.
After Africa Day, organisations and individuals will still be able to contribute towards fundraising through the World Food Programme and Unicef campaign website.