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Blind musicians get the message out on virus

China Daily | Updated: 2020-08-25 10:38
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Editor's note: This news column showcases stories from around the world that bring a touch of positivity to the fight against the deadly coronavirus.

BLANTYRE-The saying "disability is not inability" is exemplified in the community work of a blind Malawian couple who have committed themselves to promoting awareness of COVID-19 prevention through music.

The couple, known to their fans as Mr and Mrs Adaki, are usually found each day playing music near the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in the southern city Blantyre. Aided by family members, they start with the musical message for passersby from 7 am.

Mr Adaki mostly plays the guitar and his wife a heavy African drum. The couple have been sticking to this routine for over 10 years, playing traditional favorites. Their efforts bring in money to support six children.

Recently, the couple decided to use their talents to help get the word out on ways to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the southern African country.

In addition to a playlist of folk and religious songs, the couple have added musical creations that amplify official efforts to change people's behavior in the pandemic.

"We observed that there is a need for us to share what we know about COVID-19 with the public. Music is a very powerful tool as far as sharing information is concerned, Mrs Adaki said. "For years, I have seen people enjoying our music and am sure they are keeping these songs in their hearts as well."

Reinforcing his wife's view, Mr Adaki believes that their music can play a vital role in the fight against the pandemic.

"As a family, we don't look down on ourselves just because we are physically challenged or because we are uneducated," he said. "There is a lot of work that is needed to be done for our country to get back to normal.

Role of music

"Our music is based on principles: to inform, educate and entertain people. We have been educating people on various subjects, and I believe our songs on COVID-19 are playing a significant role in helping the country amid the crisis."

There are plenty of fans who agree with the couple's sentiments.

Sam Kayipa, a shop keeper, said the Adakis have been a great source of entertainment for those moving around outside the hospital. He talks of their "special musical touch" that always draws a crowd.

"It is always a great pleasure to listen to the daily performances of this couple," Kayipa said. "At first, I had limited knowledge about the COVID-19 pandemic. However, due to their music and poetry narrations, I now have vast knowledge on the subject."


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