By Hannah van Teylingen and Laylaa Edross
This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 4 of VARSITY News.
In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, throngs of anxiety erupt from news channels and social media sites, businesses struggle to survive, and as death tolls continue to rise, normal life seems to have halted and casted a shadow of despair over us as a society. Yet communities have also joined together in the most unprecedented way as we trudge through this crisis, and music has been one of the ways to try and lift our spirits.
One World: Together at Home, founded by the UN and World Health Organization (WHO), united artists from around the world to participate in online performances to raise money and spread awareness for healthcare workers and those on the frontline of the pandemic. The event consisted of many top rated celebrity artists who raised millions in dollars to help those affected by Covid-19 and frontline workers who have been working around the clock. “The World Health Organization is committed to defeating the coronavirus pandemic with science and public health measures, and supporting the health workers who are on the frontlines of the response,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO.
South African artists have made a similar stand, raising money to provide food for vulnerable families with a One Love concert held on the 30th of May featuring artists such as Zolani Mahola, Jeremy Loops, Mapumba and Matthew Field. With thousands of people facing poverty in South Africa with cut resources and no income, the event’s proceeds will be donated to four causes One Love SA is supporting; Operation Hunger SA, Covid-19 People’s Coalition, Feed Our Valley, and the SAFE – South African Fund 4 Entertainment.
Just like Tom Moore walking up and down his road, healthcare workers being applauded from city streets or the sound of pots and pans clanging from rooftops, the concert was another way of bringing us together and igniting a sense of unity between us as a human race, giving us the smallest glimmer of hope amongst the tragedy around us.
As unprecedented as the times are now, it’s clear that when we work to together, we can achieve amazing things. The concert is just an example of not only humanity, but resistance to the odds. As many businesses remain anxious about their livelihood, the music industry is changing the way we view the ‘norm’. From real life concerts where paying a massive fee is a requirement – to virtual concerts that have almost the same effect and an even better outcome for society.