Sao Tome e Principe Music Band Calema Spreads ‘Good News’ with New Song Encouraging Covid-19 Vaccinations

03 June 2021
Young people dancing, wearing bright colors
KlassziK 2021

GENEVA/DAKAR/SAO TOME, 4 June 2021 – With over 2.3 million views on Youtube in three weeks, Sao Tome e Principe band Calema’s new song titled ‘Kua Buaru’, which means ‘Good News’, is on its way to become  a major hit. Fradique Mendes Ferreira’s from the band Calema, who was appointed UNICEF Sao Tome e Principe Ambassador, together with his brother, António Mendes Ferreira also a UNICEF Ambassador, says the song was created to support UNICEF’s efforts to promote confidence in COVID-19 vaccines on the African continent.

Almost four months after COVID-19 vaccines were rolled-out in several West and Central African countries and other parts of the world, over 8.4 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been delivered in 18 countries in the region. Following the spectacular roll-out, West and Central Africa saw overall a pretty high appetite for vaccines, but also started seeing high levels of misinformation and mistrust around the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, it is more important than ever to amplify the message that vaccines are available, safe and effective.

“The theme ‘Kua Buaru’ is an invitation to celebrate our small victories, the assurance that better day days are already ahead of us, and that we can speed up that process. In a pandemic context, taking comfort in the decision to vaccinate is imperative and the effort of some to help others can go a long way. Because we are and will always be one planet, one people”, said Fradique Mendes Ferreira and António Mendes Ferreira.

“As musicians, Calema are aware of the power of their music to drive social change and influence culture. They are using music and their voices as tools to spread the right messages and to encourage people to get vaccinated. Musicians are social shifters and there’s an emotional connection to them among communities. There is power in using these artists’ influence in such a positive way”, says Noel Marie Zagre, UNICEF’s Representative in Gabon and Sao Tome e Principe. “Calema are role models in particular for youth in Sao Tome e Principe as they come from the archipelago and are an example of perseverance and motivation. They are carrying the message that vaccination is essential for us to build back better, to mitigate the impact of the crisis on children and to make sure they can fulfil their potential. We’ve already taken a major hit from the pandemic as it’s affected our economies and our lives. Vaccination provides an opportunity to resume life and get back a sense of normalcy. We’re all together in this”.

On 7 April earlier this year, which was World Health Day, Calema and six other world-renowned artists from West and Central Africa (Angelique Kidjo from Benin, Calema from Sao Tome e Principe, Cobhams Asuqo from Nigeria, Magic System from Cote d’Ivoire and Safiath from Niger)  joined hands with UNICEF and several other influencers to promote confidence in COVID-19 vaccines.

This vaccine confidence campaign has to date reached over to 200 million people on both traditional media and on UNICEF’s social media channels. To continue to build vaccine confidence UNICEF is:

  • Promoting community-led COVID interventions and producing high quality content to bolster vaccine confidence;
  • Collaborating with experts, influencers and vaccine champions to reach wide audiences;

Listening to communities and using their feedback to strengthen COVID response efforts including vaccine access and uptake.


Media contacts

Sandra Bisin
West and Central Africa Regional Chief of Communication
Tel: +221 77 819 23 00
James Elder
Regional Chief of Communication, Eastern & Southern Africa
Tel: +254 71 558 1222


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