University of Pretoria (UP) student Rostum Ogbuehi has released a rap song encouraging people to get the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) vaccine and help save lives.
The music video, which also dispels myths about COVID-19 vaccines, is making waves on the internet. It received 15 000 views within a week of being released.
The creative work was initiated by UP's Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Tiaan de Jager, following concerns about false information about COVID-19 vaccines. Ogbuehi used the information provided by the Professor Veronica Ueckermann, who is UP’s Acting Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases.
“Professor De Jager reached out to me to compose a song and video to aid with the promotion of vaccination. We worked with the faculty’s social media crew to produce the music video,” says Ogbuehi. He believes listeners will better connect with him through a visual representation of the song.
“The song alone is good by itself, but the icing on the cake was filming the music video. People need to see who the guy is that’s telling them to get vaccinated. Ultimately, I am trying to aid the promotion of vaccinating, through the university.”
Professor De Jager says he saw the need to bust the myths about the vaccine as they could hamper South Africa from reaching its vaccination targets.
“We have seen a low uptake in people getting vaccinated. This is concerning, as we know that COVID-19 vaccines reduce the risk of people getting the virus and can reduce the risk of spreading it,” he adds.
Ogbuehi, whose stage name is Ross the Boss, is a fifth-year medical student. The music video also features other students from the Faculty of Health Sciences, Vincent Mathenjwa and Tsholofelo Mphahlele, who are both studying medicine; and Reatlegile Mangope, who is studying oral hygiene.
“I understand the power of rap songs and that they can reach different age groups. I am very proud of our talented students who agreed to compose this unique rap song to contribute to the national and international drive to get people vaccinated,” says Professor de Jager.
To watch the music video, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2QPkpq1Y6w