Tears turn into HIV/Aids song
Moved to tears by the HIV/Aids pandemic, a pastor from Uitenhage is now on a mission to distribute a song he wrote about the disease – even after a woman claiming to be from the department of health told him to stop using the song “as Aids doesn’t kill”.
Vossie Vorster said he would give a CD with his song to all schools, shebeens and taxi drivers who wanted one.
In 2000, Vorster, who is also the owner of the Cape Gardens Nursery in Uitenhage, was working for Parmalat when he was sent on a course to learn more about HIV/Aids.
“While I was there, I asked the course presenter if anybody has written a song about Aids.
“He said he didn’t think so. For the next 10 minutes I just wrote down the lyrics in my head,” he said. He spent the next few months teaching about HIV/Aids in the workplace.
He said finding out about the toll of the pandemic moved him to tears.
“And then [in 2000], things were better than what they are now,” he said. The song was put on to CD by Jeff Benjamin at Bay City Sound Studio in Port Elizabeth in 2016.
“The CD features the voices of Catherine van Aswegen and Selwyn Arends,” Vorster said.
“Selwyn worked out the background music and is using the song in East London now.
“I believe this is a job that God has given me to do.”
Vorster said in 2017 he heard of a big meeting about HIV/Aids in Walmer and gave the organisers the song. They agreed to play it, showing the words on a screen.
“It was very well received. The next day, I got a phone call [allegedly] from the department of health.
“The woman didn’t give her name. She said: ‘Mr Vorster, you must stop this song immediately. Aids is not killing. It is a chronic illness. People can get better’.”
On Wednesday, Eastern Cape health department spokesperson Lwandile Sicwetsha said it was not the department’s policy stance that HIV/Aids does not kill.
“The arts sector is important to the department in helping us to convey HIV/AIDS messages and a broader healthy lifestyle campaign,” he said.
LISTEN AND LEARN: Vossie Vorster with his CD