Liberian soccer star sings out against Ebola
With Ebola ravaging his homeland, world-famous Liberian soccer star George Weah decided he could make a difference by singing about it. Weah said he hopes the song will help stop the spread of the deadly disease, which has so far killed 961 in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria in West Africa. Nearly 2,000 people have been infected, and health officials have said they are struggling to contain it.
“Let us all arise and come together to fight Ebola; Ebola is real,” the lyrics of the song exhort. Experts say fear and misunderstanding of Ebola have led many to ignore medical advice, fueling the disease’s spread. Some even doubt the disease’s existence.
Liberian authorities have tried several methods for getting the message across that the disease is real and that people with symptoms must seek medical care. Everyone has been encouraged to wash their hands frequently, avoid contact with the sick and to suspend traditional burial practices that involve touching the corpse.
Weah—who was once named player of the year by FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, before retiring in 2003—is now a singer and a politician; he has run for president twice.
He said Liberia’s Health Ministry asked him to aid their efforts to raise awareness, so he worked with the Ghanaian musician Sidney to record the song. Proceeds from sales will go to the Liberian Health Ministry.
During a recent performance, Weah said he feared that if nothing is done the disease will spread beyond the four countries.
“I know Africa will be affected if we don’t take it seriously,” he said.
Liberian soccer star George Weah turned singer and politician is is helping raise awareness about Ebola with a song he recorded.