Song emphasising lockdown regulations hits the right notes

Yonela Hala has written and recorded a song titled "COVID19".
Yonela Hala has written and recorded a song titled "COVID19".
Image: SUPPLIED

A Mdantsane songwriter and vocalist has written a song about the coronavirus which he hopes will bring home the message of why it is important for people to wash their hands and maintain their social distance.

Yonela Hala, affectionately known as “Ma-Air”,  wrote and recorded the three-minute song about the coronavirus on the eve of the 21-day lockdown.

Hala is a presenter on Kumkani FM, a Scenery Park-based radio station.

The song, simply titled Covid-19, has received thousands of shares on social networks. It has also been turned into a music video.

MA AIR _ COVID 19 FREESTYLE slikouronlife : https://www.slikouronlife.co.za/s…/124384/covid-19-freestyle soundcloud ...

This virus is a serious issue and it kills, no matter if you are poor, rich, black and white. It does not discriminate

It was written within 30 minutes of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s speech announcing the lockdown last week.

When he played the song on air, people immediately asked for information on how they could download it.

Hala told the Dispatch he hoped the song could assist in educating South Africans to adhere to the lockdown regulations, while also giving them something catchy to listen to.  

He tackles the ignorance of people still found in overcrowded places and not washing their hands, wearing gloves and masks as regularly as they should.

The last verse of the song says “Don’t be stubborn, even the government is warning us, go and wash your hands because the coronavirus will kill you”.

Hala said: “This virus is a serious issue and it kills, no matter if you are poor, rich, black and white. It does not discriminate.

I am the kind of artist who writes songs that come with solutions to problems

“I am the kind of artist who writes songs that come with solutions to problems. With that, I could not be idle and not write about Covid-19. As an artist I had to find a creative way to grab the attention of the public so that when they listen to the song they had to act the right way.”

He said as much as he liked the fact people enjoyed listening to the beat of the song, he really wanted them to pay attention to the lyrics.

“My expectation was that this song would last four minutes on radio, but now it has gone viral,” he said.

Sivenathi “SMS” Menziwa, from film production company Soteria Pictures, said the traffic the song received from social networks had prompted him to request to do a music video. Hala agreed and the music video can now be found on YouTube.

Menziwa said what had drawn his attention was the song’s content.

“I am a believer in good music that entertains and also educates people. It is a dope song, well written, and what’s important is that people from the hood [townships] will be able to get the message in their own language.”


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