Renowned Kenyan artist King Kaka released his latest song, "BESHTE YANGU" in collaboration with UNESCO through the O3 Plus project, during World Population Day in Nairobi, on 11th July 2023. Developed in collaboration with UNESCO, the song delivers a powerful message on Positive Masculinity, Mental Health, and HIV Awareness. The launch took place at the University of Nairobi, bringing together hundreds of students from the University of Nairobi, Kenya Medical Training College, faculty members, and the wider community for an amazing concert to celebrate the importance of investing in youth education, health, and well-being to build a sustainable future for both individuals and societies. The song with 10,000 views immediately after its release, underscoring the importance of music in reaching young people with health information.
King Kaka declared: "I am proud to promote Positive Masculinity, Mental Health, and HIV Awareness! This song is important for all young people on the continent. We all needed a 'BESHTE YANGU' when facing life's challenges, and this song was an appeal to support each other and show solidarity. The song was in Kiswahili, but it was designed to appeal to all young people as it showcased challenges we could all face. Listening to each other and asking for help was an important part of the solution. And it was okay not to be okay, men."
Young people in Sub-Saharan Africa face significant challenges, including high school dropout rates, new HIV infections, gender-based violence (GBV), and early and unintended pregnancies (EUPs). In Kenya, with a population of 47.5 million, addressing the Sexual and Reproductive Health needs of its 7.9 million young people aged 15-24 remains a pressing issue. 184,000 young individuals in this age group are living with HIV, with 17,000 new infections occurring each year. Negative Sexual and Reproductive Health outcomes, such as unintended pregnancies and violence, disrupt the well-being of students, limiting their potential.
In response to these challenges, the University of Nairobi, Kenya Medical Training College, and UNESCO joined forces through the O3 Plus project, which aimed to increase knowledge about HIV, unplanned pregnancies, mental health, and gender-based violence. The project emphasizes social accountability, supports health education, creates an enabling policy environment, and advocates for zero tolerance of harassment and violence. O3 Plus is implemented across the University of Nairobi's 10 campuses and 3 Kenya Medical Training College campuses, prioritizing student well-being and fostering a safe environment for all.
Commenting on the song, Prof Iribe Mwangi, the Chairman of the Department of Kiswahili at the University of Nairobi, said, "I am very happy that this song by King Kaka, 'Beshte Yangu,' was launched on this important World Population Day and was in Kiswahili, which is now one of the official languages of the African Union. It was a sweet and educational song, especially for young people in relation to positive masculinity, mental health, and HIV. It is my hope that apart from having fun, young people would understand the educational message intended by the artist."
"BESHTE YANGU" undoubtedly captivated students with its powerful message and infectious rhythms during the concert. King Kaka, in collaboration with UNESCO, managed to ignite a deeper appreciation of the importance of young people's Education for Health and Well-being in the continent, while inspiring young people to reach their full potential.
Watch the launch of the Song at University of Nairobi:
● About the O3 and O3 PLUS Programme
● “BESHTE YANGU" song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIxjCzpTVns
● Link to the live on 11 July at University of Nairobi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9_WzsudAfM