Lovers of music and Hip Hop fanatics will be painting towns and villages red as the Queen of the cult, Toni Blackman, of the USA, have already set her feet on Botswana soil today to feature in a two-week series of musical performances throughout the country on a tour to boost ongoing national HIV/AIDS intervention campaign.
Jointly, with the likes of Kast, Scar, Chub Heightz, Cibil Nyte, Enigma, Spurt, and Touch, along with Tref, Blackman will be mesmerizing listeners and supporters of Hip-Hop, for weeks starting with a free show at Old Naledi grounds on the 15th November up to 29 November 2010.
The tour will also mark the launch of a Hip-Hop DVD containing original music by different stars with lyrics that promote positive behavior change.
Also on board the “Get Up and Go” ship, as the Tour is dubbed, will be Zeus and Billy Slugz. The tour will also mark the launch of a Hip-Hop DVD containing original music by different stars with lyrics that promote positive behavior change.
Tshepiso Molapisi, also known as Kast of KAST Foundation, told Sunday Standard Lifestyle that the tour is funded by the US Embassy, while his foundation does the coordination aspect of things.
Laone Segaetsho, Communications and Public Affairs Specialist at the US Embassy, confirmed the funding, and pointed out that the idea behind the “Get Up and Go” tour was to challenge youth to take control of their lives and to address those behaviors that drive the HIV epidemic.
Molapisi said, “The power of entertainment, hip-hop music in particular, to convey a positive message of behavior change to youth aimed at reducing the incidence of HIV/AIDS among the population, will be highlighted.”
Saying contrary to popular perception that modern music, especially Hip Hop, corrupts young people, Molapisi posited that, in fact, this tour, like a similar one organized early this year, will prove that the impossible can be attained through “Artistic excellence for an HIV free generation”.
To give credence to its core business, the Tour has been arranged in such a manner that the final performance will coincide with the commemoration of the World AIDS Day by the government of Botswana, which is timed for Palapye on December 1.
Segaetsho indicated that “The Get up and Go” tour will feature Toni Blackman, U.S. hip-hop musician, poet, and activist, along with the leading hip-hop artists from Botswana, including Kast, Scar, Zeus, and Billy Slugz.”
Included on the same list are the likes of Chub Heightz, Cibil Nyte, Enigma, Spurt, and Touch, as well as Tref.┬á
The artists are expected to blend their unique musical styles and abilities with a message of empowerment and behavior change that will touch the youth of Botswana.
“Particular focus will be directed at changing sexual habits and attitudes toward multiple concurrent partners,” highlighted the KAST Foundation spokesperson.
The tour will also mark the launch of a hip-hop DVD by the cited local stars that contains original music with lyrics that promote positive behavior change.
Laone Segaetsho, Communications and Public Affairs Specialist at the United States Embassy, confirmed that the Embassy was funding the tour, and pointed out that the idea behind the “Get Up and Go” was to challenge youth to take control of their lives and to address those behaviors that drive the HIV epidemic.
The United States has consistently acted as a strong partner with Botswana in efforts to meet the challenge of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and as such has made “smart investments” in Botswana, with over $386 million invested since 2005.
Central to the aim of such investments has been support of the national response by government and civil society in providing treatment, care and support services to those that are in need.┬á
Places earmarked for the Tour include, Gaborone from 15th November, through Jwaneng, Kang, Ghanzi and Gumare and Shakawe as well as Maun, concluding with Palapye on 29th November, while, the artists will seal their mission with a performance on World AIDs Day, December 1.
In addition to participating with Batswana artists in the music tour, Toni Blackman will also conduct outreach activities in schools and other venues, sharing a motivational message of youth and girls’ empowerment that will coincide with the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.