News / Africa

Zimbabwean Songwriter Fights HIV

Members of the public wait to be tested for HIV and Aids in Harare, Zimbabwe, June, 22, 2012.
Members of the public wait to be tested for HIV and Aids in Harare, Zimbabwe, June, 22, 2012.
A Zimbabwean teenager has released a song called "Getting to Zero" as part of his efforts to fight the spread of HIV in his country.  The title refers to Zimbabwe's goal of reaching a net-zero rate of new HIV infections by 2015.  The song's release coincides with this year's World AIDS Day.

"Getting to Zero" was composed by an 18-year-old Zimbabwean, Theophylus Phoelyn, 18, and will be used by Zimbabwe as a theme song for this year's World AIDS Day.  

Most young musicians in Zimbabwe sing about love, sex and other social issues, but HIV isn't typically addressed in popular music.
Zimbabwean Songwriter Fighting HIV
Zimbabwean Songwriter Fighting HIVi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

"I think not enough young people out there are getting involved in trying to make a long-lasting change in the community today," said Phoelyn. "We are not active enough in this cause, we are not active enough in trying to get to zero.  I think it was about time we look for solution and be solution ourselves."  

A solution is needed in Zimbabwe as statistics show that the majority of people living with HIV in Zimbabwe are young. More than 14 percent of Zimbabweans between the ages of 15 and 49 have the virus.  That is the fifth highest infection rate in the world.

Earlier this week, young people in Zimbabwe told government officials that the country can only meet its 2015 goal of a zero HIV infection rate if they are involved in policy making.  

Phoelyn says his song fits well in Zimbabwe's quest to reach that goal.  "It is about getting to zero discrimination, zero stigma, zero deaths, zero TB-related deaths for people living with AIDS," Phoelyn added.  

This song will be released this Saturday in the town of Beitbridge at the border of Zimbabwe and South Africa, the busiest border in the South African Development Community region.  Madeline Dube of Zimbabwe's National AIDS Council explains why the government chose to mark World AIDS Day in this border region.

"We want to be able to target the communities to be aware of HIV/AIDS," said Dube.  "This year's Zimbabwe health demographic survey shows that Matabeleland South has a high prevalence rate – it is at 21 percent.  There are more than the country's average which is at 15 percent.  So we are concerned that we need to communicate the HIV infection, this theme of 'Getting to Zero'."

Zimbabwe has made significant progress against AIDS but still faces an uphill battle with the disease.  While the United Nations says new HIV infection rates have dropped by 50 percent in Zimbabwe, the country still has 1.2 million people living with the virus.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid