This year’s global World AIDS Day was marked on Thursday, December 1st.
A day after the day was marked globally, Kenyan rapper King Kaka – via his management company Kaka Empire – received a new ambassadorial role after he entered into an innovative new partnership with UNICEF.
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Other artistes at the management label including rappers Timmy Tdat, Femi One and comedian Owago Onyiro were also appointed ambassadors to fight AIDS among adolescents and young people.
Through an initiative dubbed Tunakula Life Na Adabu (Live Life Responsibly), the team will help in campaigns aimed at ending the spread of AIDS among adolescents.
The initiative is aimed at stepping up efforts in supporting adolescents and young people to better understand HIV risk and improve care and support for those already living with the virus.
The partnership was launched against new data which shows that 51 per cent of all new adult HIV infections are among 15 to 24-year-olds. Of Kenya’s 1.5 million people living with HIV, nearly 20 per cent are between 15-24 years.
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Kaka Empire and UNICEF Kenya will roll out a number of activities that will use music, social media and workshops to get adolescents and young people talking, thinking and acting to celebrate life and live responsibly.
“I am happy now that I am a messenger and through UNICEF I will be able to take the message across to so many people worldwide. We have all been affected by HIV, we know someone who is living with HIV, a friend knows someone who knows someone. We should be able to talk about it and encourage others to speak openly,” says King Kaka.
“UNICEF has helped me learn more about HIV and AIDS there is so much I did not know. Now that I am in a position to influence others, I want to use this platform to show others that HIV does not kill it is the stigma that kills. Just because someone is living with HIV does not mean they are any different from us. I feel very good that I am part of the vehicle that is bringing change,” says Timmy Tdat.