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A Group Of West African Artists Recorded A Song About Ebola And It Is Beautiful

Step aside Bob Geldof.

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Global stars Amadou and Mariam and Grammy winner Oumou Sangaré teamed up with renowned regional musicians to record this Ebola awareness-raising song. It's called "Africa Stop Ebola," and it's awesome.

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The song's lyrics, recorded in French and some local languages — English subtitles are available on YouTube — aim to spread awareness about the virus, how it's transmitted, and the importance of immediately seeking help from doctors.

That's probably not the Ebola song you've heard about this week, though.

The original hope was to raise 򣉐,000 to combat famine. 30 years & $230m later, #BandAid30 returns to tackle Ebola

Band Aid 30@BandAid30Follow

The original hope was to raise

British rocker Bob Geldof wants to rerecord his famous famine song "Do They Know It's Christmas?", retro-fitted for Ebola.

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"Do They Know It's Christmas?" was originally released in late November, 1984, to raise money to fight famine in Ethiopia.

By the way, "they" are never named in the song, but Christmas in Ethiopia is observed on January 7, in keeping with the Orthodox or Coptic Christian calendar. The song also points out that "there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time."

The ensuing media storm frustrated some grassroots activists.

You spend a month trying to mobilize Africans to donate to ur cause. Then Sir Bob Geldof gets up & we all like…

TMS Ruge@tmsrugeFollow

You spend a month trying to mobilize Africans to donate to ur cause. Then Sir Bob Geldof gets up & we all like…

12:26 AM - 12 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

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Fighting Ebola with music is nothing new in West Africa.

In May, "Ebola in Town," recorded by D-12, Shadow and Kuzzy of 2 Kings, was hugely popular in Liberia. Various other local artists released their own Ebola songs, focused on raising awareness, in the months that followed.

Jingles, as they're popularly called in Liberia, are a form of public service announcement popular across Africa (really. Africa.). International NGOs often fund such songs, and there's been an infusion of cash in West Africa for "health promotion," "sensitization," and other international aid-world words for bringing educational information to the masses.

Boima Tucker, better known as the DJ Chief Boima, wrote a great roundup for the journal Cultural Anthropology last month of Ebola tunes from the region.

Then there's the logo problem. The embedded brand plug seemed tacky to some viewers, but the bigger issue is that Ebola isn't all over Africa.

This feels like a big mistake/backward step - views? #EBOLA = #AFRICA Tshirts by @BandAid30 #BandAid30 v @Kirinyaga

Duncan Green@fp2pFollow

This feels like a big mistake/backward step - views? #EBOLA = #AFRICA Tshirts by @BandAid30 #BandAid30 v @Kirinyaga

7:52 AM - 11 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

It's just in this part, right here.

UPDATED 2:30am CET Wed Nov 12th >> MALI: 1 NEW #EBOLA DEATH << Map of Africa for the Geographically Challenged

Anthony England@EbolaPhoneFollow

UPDATED 2:30am CET Wed Nov 12th >> MALI: 1 NEW #EBOLA DEATH << Map of Africa for the Geographically Challenged

5:10 AM - 12 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Which, by the way, is about this big.

All proceeds from iTunes purchases of "Africa Stop Ebola" will be donated to Doctors Without Borders.

Musicians aren't the only people looking to reverse the traditional flow of aid from the West. Africa Responds, a grassroots response initiative led by four Africans, is also raising funds for Liberian organizations at the forefront of Ebola outreach and prevention.

Jina Moore is the global women's rights correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Berlin.

Contact Jina Moore at jina.moore@buzzfeed.com.

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