Hip Hop U was proud to partner with the African Health Research Institute (AHRI) and young people in the Somkhele (KZN) area to raise awareness about issues affecting their health and well-being. The team created a safe space for young people to explore five AHRI research studies.
These studies examined:
- the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections among young South Africans
- the rate of TB infections among adolescents
- the challenges young people face when accessing health services
- youth mobility experiences when moving from rural to urban environments
- and young South Africans’ vision and hope for the future.
Students from Nkodibe Secondary School, Nomathiya Technical High School, Ikusasalethu Secondary School, Inkosi Mgwazeni Secondary School and Umfolozi High School attended 3 weekend workshops. They first interviewed AHRI researchers about the above research. Thereafter, they carried out their own research tasks which exposed them to scientific methodology. Using this information, the students worked with the Hip Hop U team to write and compose original rap songs in order to convey their experiences and raise awareness about the research findings.
The students performed their songs live on stage at the AHRI Science Fair event on 16 March 2019. The songs were recorded live for broadcast across local radio stations. The aim was to continue to empower local communities by sharing scientific knowledge through an accessible medium.
The Hip Hop U programme is an initiative of Jive Media Africa, and creates safe spaces for youth engagement by using rap and hip hop to tackle social issues affecting young adults in rural communities. We connect students, health scientists and local musical artists to encourage social advocacy and empowerment through the power of music.