February 9, 2013

Malaria Champions Kick-off 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations Closing Ceremony to an Estimated Audience of 700 million

Renowned African Singer and Humanitarian Yvonne Chaka Chaka Performs Debut of African Version of ‘Hearts on Fire’ In Support of Tournament’s Official Social Cause

 

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 8 February, 2013 – As the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) draws to a close on Sunday evening, United Against Malaria (UAM) will deliver life-saving malaria messages to the approximately 700 million viewers expected to tune in for the final match between Nigeria and Burkina Faso. As an official social cause of the tournament, UAM will kick-off the closing ceremony with a live show, a culmination of the partnership between the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and UAM, who together have leveraged the power of football to encourage fans to protect themselves and their familes from malaria, a preventable and treatable disease that still kills approximately 600,000 people in Africa each year. The campaigns has also engaged private and political investment in malaria control, through the use of TV, radio and billboards with football icons, celebrities and African leaders.

“We hope that United Against Malaria’s performance during this seminal moment in the tournament will further raise awareness about prevention and treatment for this deadly disease and unite African political, sporting and private-sector leadership in supporting malaria control efforts across Africa,” said Mr. Hicham El Amrani, CAF secretary general.

The live show will feature a performance by South African superstar Yvonne Chaka Chaka, a Goodwill Ambassador for the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM) and UAM Champion, who will be accompanied on the pitch by the South African Mzansi Ballet company, 150 children from local townships who participate in the organization’s outreach program and traditional dancers from Lesedi. The choreographed dance, ballet and visual symbolism will showcase UAM’s relentless pursuit to end malaria across the continent. The soundtrack of the performance debuts the African version of Hearts On Fire, a song recorded by Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Denis Dowlut, Michael Abdul and Themba Mhinga as an awareness and fundraising tool, which will be available for purchase on iTunes and across all major online music retailers, with all proceeds going to UAM and the Princess of Africa Foundation.

Ms Chaka Chaka and South African football legend Mark Fish, a member of the winning 1996 AFCON team, will also each briefly address viewers about their personal commitment to the fight against malaria and encourage others to join the campaign to prevent, treat and ultimately beat the disease that continues to kill one child every minute in Africa.

United Against Malaria campaign manager David Kyne also emphasises the importance of reaching such a large population of people living in malaria endemic regions at a single point. “Malaria remains a major threat in Africa. The African and global health community has made significant inroads into combating the scourge, but there is still a lot to be done, and awareness is key. We are incredibly grateful to CAF for their commitment to this cause and for the opportunity to deliver this message to such a large and critical audience.”

United Against Malaria’s performance will be broadcast live at 18:30 CAT from the National Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.

About Malaria

Malaria is a disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. If left untreated, the infection in its most severe forms can lead to coma and death. Although malaria is preventable and treatable, it continues to kill a child every 60 seconds and 655,000 people each year. More than 90 percent of these deaths occur in Africa, and the majority of them are children under the age of five. Furthermore, malaria contributes to the cycle of poverty and limits economic development.

About United Against Malaria

United Against Malaria (UAM) is a partnership of football teams and heroes, celebrities, health and advocacy organizations, governments, corporations, and individuals who have united to win the fight against malaria. Our goal is to galvanize partners throughout the world to reach the international target of reducing deaths worldwide. To learn more about UAM, please visit our website at www.UnitedAgainstMalaria.org and YouTube page and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Africa Cup of Nations

The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) is the continent’s premiere football championship, organized biannually by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). The 2013 tournament, hosted in conjunction with the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the South African Football Association (SAFA) is taking place from January 19 to February 10 and is being followed by millions of fans in Africa and around the world. For more information, please visit www.Cafonline.com.

Press Contacts:

UAM: Anna McCartney-Melstad: amccartn@jhsph.edu +27 743 674636

CAF: Mahmoud Garga: garga@cafonline.com +20 238 371000 ext. 116