Kindness Contagion

A Pan-African response to COVID-19

May 19, 2020

Kindness in different African languages

The Pan-African anthem song and video “Kindness Contagion” will be launched globally on 25 May, Africa Day 2020 across online and broadcast platforms as a Call to Action from Africa to #SpreadKindnessAfrica around the world. 

The project has already drawn a growing list of African collaborators and partners including Vusi Mahlasela, “Hotstix” Mabuse, Tu Nokwe, Pops Mohamed, Vicky Sampson, Madosini, Marcus Wyatt, Allou April (South Africa), Didier Awadi (Senegal), Seun Kuti (Nigeria), Salatiel (Cameroon), Elida Almeida (Cape Verde), Christine Salem (Reunion), Suzziah (Kenya), Gyedu Blay Amoblley (Ghana), JahBaba (Benin), Maurice Kirya (Uganda), Xixel (Mozambique), with others still joining even as the song is being mixed. Each artist is recording their music and video content independently from where they are around the continent, offering a truly Pan-African message based on our common humanity.

The song was composed by RJ Benjamin with original lyrics by HIP’s Michael Lee. It has been rearranged and produced by Gabi le Roux and Camillo Lombard. Many artists are contributing original pieces to the mix. Artist procurement has been supported by and Sheer Music Publishing Africa. 

The Kindness Contagion theme was initially inspired by the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) call to creatives to respond to the pandemic with various forms of artwork across numerous messages. Rooted in African values of friendship, generosity, sharing and togetherness (ubuntu), the song aims to encourage and inspire acts of kindness and the notion of paying it forward. This top African artists are waiving their rights to any proceeds from the song in favour of donations to relief for all African artists in need at this time, thus making the song itself the project’s first act of kindness. The song will be free to download from various platforms, while donations are requested.

The project is the brainchild of the Human Innovation Project (HIP) with donated funds being managed by the SA Creative Industries Incubator (SACII). As a core partner, UNDP will use the song in their own campaign to encourage the spread of kindness worldwide and is contributing images from the original call to creatives as part of the music video. The UNDP is supporting publicity and distribution globally.

All proceeds raised from the song will go to support African artists who have suffered losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds will be distributed in South Africa by several entities who are already running funds for such purposes. Music in Africa Foundation will manage the funds for distribution in the rest of Africa.

We call upon all Africans and the rest of the world to share this message of hope, support andsolidarity and spread kindness across the globe – no matter where you are. For more informationand regular updates visit:

Media enquiries:

Beth Arendse-Human Innovation Project- +27 072 961 4145

Rhulani Lehloka-UNDP SA- +27 066 307 1827

Connie Nagiah-Media co-ordinator - + 27 082 730 0653

Vanessa Tloubatla-Media co-ordinator- +27 073 385 5000