The two mini's move up north
A group of musicians from the north led by Rocky Dawuni, last week went beyond the usual entertainment and fun to sensitize communities in the northern region on water, sanitation and hygiene issues.
The three-day tour came ahead of the 7th annual Rocky independence splash and Ghana’s 50th anniversary concert in Accra.
Batman Samini, Sheriff Ghali and Mama Rams were part of the group that toured areas like Bumbon Nayili (Rocky’s hometown), Yipelgu and Gburimani in the Tolon-Kumbungu district.
The programme was sponsored by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and afforded the musicians the opportunity to educate the communities on the need to drink water from safe sources and keep their surroundings clean.
The talk was interlaced with music composed by the group in Dagbani and English on sanitation and personal hygiene.
The warm reception accorded Rocky and his colleagues was so deep-rooted that the people at Bumbon Nayili, Gburimani and Yipegu wished the international star had stayed back with them.
This initiative by the group was generally received as a step in the right direction because musicians have the potential to change attitudes of people positively.
Rocky and his group called on all other musicians in the north to collaborate to compose songs that would eventually help mobilise the rural people to effect some positive changes in their lives.
What Rocky and his colleagues are telling other musicians is that they should also strive and go beyond all the fanfare that goes with entertainment and take time off to look at critical issues of national concern and help address them for the benefit of mother Ghana.
Currently, statistics show that cases of sanitation and hygiene related diseases in the northern region in the year 2006 had not been very encouraging.
For instance, the region recorded 36,430 cases of diarrhoea, 6,794 for typhoid, 9,291 for intestinal worm and 216 cases of trachoma.
It was this startling revelation that touched the hearts of Rocky and his colleagues to visit selected communities and talk to them through music on those pertinent issues.
In Rocky’s own hometown, Bumbon Nayili it was for instance discovered that the people used a chemical, Alum, to help ensure that dirt in the water they fetched from the dam in the community for the use is settles down in the container.
However it was observed that people still drank particles of dirt and perhaps germs. The Bumbon Nayili community currently has only one borehole and the people claimed they queued for long hours to get some water.
Three groups also identified other diseases like elephantiasis in some of the communities.
This situation therefore makes it imperative for all other musicians in Ghana to emulate the gesture by Rocky and his group because as Rocky put it “we are here because it will not be fair on our part to be entertaining our fans while they wallow in poverty and poor health”.
story by Vincent Adedze