Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rhythm of Life, larger than life

"On May 16th 2009 Lusaka saw it’s first large-scale music festival and health fair, dubbed “The Rhythm of Life.”  Over 12,000 festival goers came to the Lusaka Showgrounds for a free, family-friendly all-day (and into the night) event that featured on-stage entertainment from Zambia’s top musicians, drama groups, visual artists, choirs and speakers.  The featured musician was world-famous Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi who played two sets in addition to coming back to the stage to perform the festivals namesake song, “The Rhythm of Life.”  Other star performers included Matthew Tembo, the Mwale Sisters, Danny, Cactus Agony, Xploits, Maiko Zulu and Angela Nyirenda, among others.  

The success of this USAID-funded was a result of cooperation with the coordinating agency, Health Communications Partnership (HCP), the Zambian Ministry of Health, the National Arts Council of Zambia and hundreds of partners in the field of public health.

Concert goers were treated to musical entertainment but also had the opportunity to visit through the health festival where exhibitors were set up to promote the festival’s theme,  Move to a Healthy Beat.  The atmosphere was energizing.   Exhibitors distributed materials with information on malaria prevention, cancer screening, and HIV interventions.  Visitors received counselling on everything from male circumcision to high blood pressure and practitioners performed services including onsite weight checks, vision tests, blood donation, and malaria testing and referral."  

(so reads the beginning of my write-up for the Malaria Consortium.)

(Warning:  Here is where I start tooting my horn.)  I still cannot believe what happened when I turned over a set of designs and 4 photos of Matthew, Miriam, Ester and Margret to the folks at HCP.  THIS is what happened! Marketing! Pens, badges, posters, banners, tee-shirts, VIP passes, even the signs for the toilets.   There is something so thrilling about driving through Kalingalinga with the kids and having them notice...."MOMMY!  MOMMY!  The POSTER!  I saw YOUR poster!" And to see my work larger than life.  Thanks, guys.

Margret and Ester on the shirts (above).  All the artistes (below), with Brian the musical coordinator) from the Dream Team on stage in their ROL gear at the first public performance of "The Rhythm of Life" song.  Great job, kudos to Cactus Agony for his part in writing this tune.

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