It is a 2.54-minute reggae song, which the Waka Waka band produced. In the song, Burundian-born Kezamutima teamed up with Lusungu Kumwenda from Malawi to start off singing the lyrics, “I have been crying for justice and I’m here to resist COVID-19. I say, do not be afraid we are not ready to die.”
Kezamutima who is pursuing a Masters degree in Justice, Peace and Social Cohesion the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) in Kenya is referred to as Baba Miti (Father of Trees) in the song, a nickname his peers gave him due to the Birthday Tree Planting Campaign he runs across East Africa.
“I am just a friend of trees,” Kezamutima, a member of the Secular Franciscan Order, the third branch of the Franciscan Family told ACI Africa.
Speaking about his band’s inspiration to produce the song, Kezamutima who coordinates Laudato Si’ Generation (LSG) in Africa told ACI Africa, “We are all in confinement and feeling the pain of this difficult life as well as the pain of people who are losing life, families affected especially poor people who no longer field for daily struggles to earn their bread.”
He added, “We also feel the pain of our Mother Earth since corporates and some politicians are playing behind the scene by amplifying their fossil fuel project. That is why we are calling our church institutions to divest from fossil fuel and adopt renewable energy.”
Founded in August 2016, the band is made up of ten Secular Franciscan youths studying at CUEA and drawn from various African countries, among them Kenya, Malawi, Burundi and DR Congo.
“That diversity makes us to think globally and deep into issues of health, economy, climate and poverty, which are directly connected to COVID-19,” the 30-year-old Burundian national said and added in reference to their diversity, “That gave us inspiration of calling for a global solidarity and hope to people and the planet.”
In his opinion, music is instrumental in the fight against COVID-19 due to its ability to create awareness and give hope to people who are at risk of trauma, as well as offer the right educative messages to the young people at home watching TV and active on social media.
“Music raises the voice on behalf of citizens telling leaders of the world that we need a global sustainable solution, thus a just recovery,” Kezamutima said.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions such as limited travels and interactions, Waka Waka band performed a 30-minute climate concert during a two-hour Online Earth Day celebration organized by the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Franciscans Africa (JPICFA ) in Nairobi, Kenya, in partnership with CUEA and Mother Earth Network.