To All Creative Industry Stakeholders
What a year 2020 has turned out to be: The word ‘Amazing’ might come to mind. Unexpected, perhaps? Surprising? Crazy?
However we may choose to describe it, this year has certainly impacted us in the most unpredictable way.
As creatives, our survival is based on our freelance and independent work. We work as teams, closely collaborating with each other to share our stories, keep people entertained, and pass on a message to an audience that has always been willing to encourage our creativity. Social distancing is alien to us. We thrive on face-to-face contact on our film sets, we share and shape our ideas over long meetings and we constantly travel in search of the location and talent for our next creative project.
2020 has compelled us to adjust, and through all of this, we find joy in the knowledge that the works we have been able to creatively contribute to making our world just a little bit better to live in, despite the circumstances.
The demand for the work we have already done is reaching unprecedented levels as people are consuming as much as they can of books, films, television shows, music, dance—to escape and to forget the reality of this virus.
It, therefore, begs the question ‘What more can we do?’ Surely it is incumbent upon all of us to play our part in contributing in some way towards an even safer world… and, more importantly, an even safer Africa!
We, at Africa Film Academy, and our coalition of partners including Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe Foundation, Charles Granville Company, Joyce Banda Foundation International, Femmes et Prisons d’Afrique, Pan African Film & Arts Festival, AFC Pan-African Consortium, Bodyworks Nigeria, The New Mind, Truliving Africa, BBB Media, Mambokadzi African Media & Entertainment Network – and many other Creatives – have come together to do our part in helping mitigate what threatens to be an inevitable spike in the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.
We have decided to Mask Up Africa.
We need the help of fellow creatives, corporate Africa, and every single person who identifies with the Motherland – Africa – as we prepare to embark on this massive campaign that will ensure that our most vulnerable brothers and sisters are protected by having access to masks.
This is yet another call to unified action ‘by Africans for Africans’ in keeping with the consciousness promoted by the teachings of Marcus Garvey…
The campaign, titled ‘MASK UP AFRICA’ is being launched on the 25th of May – significantly, Africa Day – as we seek to raise the necessary funds and resources needed to distribute masks across our Motherland, Africa.
Our initial target is to raise 52 million masks – one million for each African state – with priority being given to the most vulnerable communities.
What do we need from you?
First and foremost, we are calling out to all Creative Africans, no matter where you are, to join the MaskUpAfrica campaign. This involves just a few basic requirements:
- Make a 30-second video supporting the campaign by showcasing the importance of wearing a Mask
- Post a picture of yourself wearing your own mask with (the hashtag) #MaskUpAfrica included. Post it on your Facebook, Instagram, and all your social media handles. Encourage your followers to (hashtag) MaskUpAfrica.
- Encourage donations to the MaskUpAfrica campaign. Our target is 52 million masks. We believe that if each one of us donated $1 to the campaign we will achieve our goal.
- You can support in kind by sourcing masks and sending them to us to distribute or you can equally work with us to make sure your masks are distributed.
All donations we get will be visible on our website and weekly updates will be given on our social media handles.
In conclusion, the Africa Film Academy and our partners have taken on many major campaigns in the past such as the ‘No Baga’ campaign which created awareness for peaceful voting and being your brother’s keeper. The same campaign also provided meals for all the internally displaced (IDP) camps around Nigeria. We have also organized peace concerts across Nigeria to raise awareness on the impact of terrorist attacks in our country.
As Covid-19 continues to ravage the world let Africa not be found wanting. We urge you all to join forces with us as we take the initiative to help ourselves by joining together to #MaskUpAfrica.