A song about people being one gives me happy feelings — all the way through.

Some people in South Africa fear for their lives, but these musicians want to change that.

A group of South African musicians are tired of seeing their own people hurt each other because of their citizenship status.

In response to recent violence against immigrants, Grammy Award-winners Ladysmith Black Mambazo and singer Salif Keita created a powerful song called "United We Stand." It's upbeat, it's toe-tapping. And the message behind the catchy melody is simple: "Africa is for all of us." Through their music, the artists hope to stomp out fear and hatred toward people of different backgrounds.


GIF via Vintage Motion Pictures.

NPR talked to them about their reason for collaborating. The musicians were shocked when deadly attacks broke out in their region of South Africa in March.

Seven people have already been killed, according to Reuters, which reported that mobs armed with machetes have been seen looting immigrant-owned businesses. Before the attacks, one influential leader said in a speech: “Let us pop our head lice. We must remove ticks and place them outside in the sun. We ask foreign nationals to pack their belongings and be sent back."

Immigrants were being spoken of as "lice" and "ticks" that should be removed from the country.

This awful language divides and separates people, and it's a chilling reminder of the kind of language that was used to incite the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. In a place that's still healing from Apartheid, these threats paired with the belief that immigrants are the reason for the country's poor economy further isolate people.

It inspired these musicians to make a statement in a song.

The musicians, who are from South Africa and Mali, believe that uniting through music will help set an example for all.

"We have to send this message that we are all Africans. Africa is for us all." They hope that their song, which calls for peace, love, and an end to hatred, will act as a force of change. “Music, when you are sad, it calms you. You sing, it heals you. So united we stand, divided we shall fall. Let's get together," they added.

Image via Vintage Motion Pictures.

To hear the Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Salif Keita's uplifting song, check it out here:

<span class="redactor-invisible-space"><p></p></span>

And here's NPR's interview with the artists and full report of the events that inspired this collaboration:

More
True
The Atlantic Philanthropies

Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature

As a child, Dr. Sangeeta Bhatia's parents didn't ask her what she wanted to be when she grew up. Instead, her father would ask, "Are you going to be a doctor? Are you going to be an engineer? Or are you going to be an entrepreneur?"

Little did he know that she would successfully become all three: an award-winning biomedical and mechanical engineer who performs cutting-edge medical research and has started multiple companies.

Bhatia holds an M.D. from Harvard University, an M.S. in mechanical engineering from MIT, and a PhD in biomedical engineering from MIT. Bhatia, a Wilson professor of engineering at MIT, is currently serving as director of the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine, where she's working on nanotechnology targeting enzymes in cancer cells. This would allow cancer screenings to be done with a simple urine test.

Bhatia owes much of her impressive career to her family. Her parents were refugees who met in graduate school in India; in fact, she says her mom was the first woman to earn an MBA in the country. The couple immigrated to the U.S. in the 1960s, started a family, and worked hard to give their two daughters the best opportunities.

"They made enormous sacrifices to pick a town with great public schools and really push us to excel the whole way," Bhatia says. "They really believed in us, but they expected excellence. The story I like to tell about my dad is like, if you brought home a 96 on a math test, the response would be, 'What'd you get wrong?'"

Keep Reading Show less
Packard Foundation
True

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Amy Johnson

The first day of school can be both exciting and scary at the same time — especially if it's your first day ever, as was the case for a nervous four-year-old in Wisconsin. But with a little help from a kind bus driver, he was able to get over his fear.

Axel was "super excited" waiting for the bus in Augusta with his mom, Amy Johnson, until it came time to actually get on.

"He was all smiles when he saw me around the corner and I started to slow down and that's when you could see his face start to change," his bus driver, Isabel "Izzy" Lane, told WEAU.

The scared boy wouldn't get on the bus without help from his mom, so she picked him up and carried him aboard, trying to give him a pep talk.

"He started to cling to me and I told him, 'Buddy, you got this and will have so much fun!'" Johnson told Fox 7.

Keep Reading Show less
Most Shared