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The Culture of AIDS in AfricaHope and Healing Through Music and the Arts$
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Gregory Barz and Judah Cohen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199744473

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199744473.001.0001

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“EdzI Ndi Dolo” (“AIDS is Mighty”)

“EdzI Ndi Dolo” (“AIDS is Mighty”)

Singing HIV/AIDS in Malawi, 1980–2008

(p.384) 31 “EdzI Ndi Dolo” (“AIDS is Mighty”)
The Culture of AIDS in Africa

John Chipembere Lwanda

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the ways in which information about HIV/AIDS is transmitted through popular media in Malawi, with the goal of constructing one of the first progressive histories of HIV responses within the popular music industry. It first describes music and HIV/AIDS in five chronological periods: before HIV/AIDS had a local name; the initial period of “silence” from 1985 to 1990; the transitional period from one-party rule to multiparty between 1990 and 1994; the first multiparty years, 1995 to 1999; and 2000 and beyond. It then considers how several musicians addressed their own personal involvement with HIV/AIDS through their songs before discussing how HIV/AIDS led to both the growth of the Malawian music industry and, for some, successful professional music careers. It also highlights the artistic unpredictability of the HIV/AIDS epidemic’s paths and suggests that this process might be more predictable than it appears.

Keywords:   songs, HIV/AIDS, popular media, Malawi, popular music, musicians, music industry

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