Annemarie, Code, thanks for joining me.[ANNEMARIE & CODE]: Thanks for having us.
How did this all start, how did the charity Music Against Malaria come about?
[CODE]: Great question, so I started this a long time ago, maybe about 10 years ago. I was making random donations to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital which is the biggest hospital in Malawi; it admits patients from all over the districts from Sanjay all the way to Chitipa. I discovered that the paediatric A&E department really needed a refurbishment. Because the government struggles with funding, I thought it would be wise to start a tour to raise the money to complement whatever the government efforts are to make the hospital great. As I was playing one of the venues in Blantyre I met Annemarie. After the show, she said: “I like your sound, I would like to work with you.” From there, we developed a friendship and now she is the co-director of Music Against Malaria
As part of that, you’re going to be travelling across Malawi?
[CODE]: Yeah pretty much, so we’ve earmarked about 10 districts across Malawi.
How much do you need to raise in order for the hospital to be restored?
[CODE]: Well, this is a little bit tricky because we have an estimated budget and we’re still working with like Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital on that front. The budget is about 30 million [Malawian Kwacha], about forty-one thousand US dollars. At the same time, we’re also looking at the long-term plan, which is about five years from now. Our dream is to be able to have a malaria clinic in every district a district in Malawi that is working.
What would those clinics provide?
[CODE]: Malaria treatment because the main hospital and the resuscitation room, for example, is in dire straits. The theatre, for example, is just a complete shambles. So the officials have a plan to refurbish a one-stop shop setup with a pharmacy and everything in that space.
[ANNEMARIE]: There reason Queens is so busy, is because people from the District don’t have what they need out there, so then all of the patients are then brought into Queens and there’s not enough space for them to be able to handle it. We also want to go back to the root of the problem and to go into the smaller district clinics and give them more resources there so to take the pressure off Queens. It’s a bit of a vicious circle, but you have to start somewhere and that’s what we’re doing at the moment. Again, raising awareness and getting people to know the name of Music Against Malaria, which I think is starting to stick – and that’s half the battle isn’t it when people know who you are.
The chances are that the people listening to this podcast won’t be out in Malawi, they’ll be in the UK or somewhere else in the world. How can those people get involved with your campaign?
[CODE]: We have a GoFundMe page, which we’re using and we also use social media so we’re on Twitter, we’re on Instagram, we’re on Facebook. We’d also really like to drive the GoFundMe page because that’s where they can actually make a donation.
[ANNEMARIE]: I think, as someone coming from the UK who visited Africa before but had never lived here, it all comes down to accountability and we want people to know as a small charity, social media is a great tool to be able to follow closely.
Is a Music Against Malaria album a possibility?
[CODE]: Oh absolutely, I think that next year we have a plan of starting a music festival and a theme song that we want to start off with, and push that across and we would also like to work with musicians.
[ANNEMARIE]: Yeah, I think that an album is a great idea.
Annemarie and Code, thank you.
[ANNEMARIE & CODE]: Thank you so much.