Wednesday, October 4, 2023

YOHO to host HIV-Aids Hip-Hop music workshop

The Youth Health Organization (YOHO) will host a five-day training workshop for Hip Hop artists. The training workshop, which will be held with the support of the United States Embassy, is meant to engage Hip-Hop artists in the fight against HIV, so that they produce songs that carry HIV messages.

Such songs will cover themes like the dangers of alcohol abuse and having multiple concurrent partners.

The YOHO initiative is a bit surprising, as Hip Hop is generally known for its promotion of promiscuity, drug and alcohol abuse. Even in their music videos, Hip Hop artists generally sell sex, with scantily dressed girls shaking their booties, while the artists generally rap about their sexual prowess.

The likes of Scar, Zeus, Kast and upcoming artists like Tresf will be there to mentor the aspiring artists, and eventually breed fine tuned artists who will in the end produce quality songs that carry the HIV-AIDS message.

Salim Kegodile, a Peer Theatre Educator at YOHO, said on Monday that they chose Hip Hop because it is the common language that most of the youth love and appreciate.

“Hip hop is the common language amongst our youth. They think hip-hop, talk hip-hop and dress hip-hop,” he said.

While HIP Hop generally promotes alcohol abuse and promiscuity, it is expedient that the same tool is now being used for dispensing messages that actually counter what they have previously been promoting.

Kegodile said that HIV transmission is fast tracked by the youths’ propensity to engage in multiple and concurrent sexual relationships.

“Infections spread more quickly in a sexual network where members are simultaneously connected. This is the in thing for our youth’s today .They actually believe that having two or more sexual partners is proof of maturity and sophistication. In contrast, reducing concurrency will reduce the spread of HIV,” he said.
On top of the HIV message, YOHO will also seek the assistance of the Hip Hop musicians to spread a message decrying gender based violence.

“The gender in balance that exists between men and women put women at a disadvantage because they cannot negotiate for safer sex. They are at a greater risk of contracting HIV-AIDS,” said Kegodile.

He added that they will also address the issue of alcohol abuse, which results in high risk sexual behaviors like incorrect condom use.


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