Boston (Massachusetts), USA – Using his music star status to raise awareness about health, water and HIV/Aids issues in remote corners of Mozambique, Feliciano dos Santos was awarded the Goldman Prize, described as the Nobel Prize of grassroots environmentalism.
Harnessing their popularity to fight poverty, Santos and his band Massukos make music that is not only phenomenally beautiful but also a powerful force for change. "I started using music when I realized that it was a good way to send a message and bring people together," says dos Santos. "Even when you play a loud radio, people are drawn to it. Even when it plays sounds that are not about dirty water, they just want to listen to the sounds. I realized that music had this power, so for this reason we thought it would be good to mix it with what we wanted to achieve."Massukos have an enviable reputation as the country’s most successful band but they are also making their mark as initiators of social change. Originating from Niassa in northern Mozambique, one of the poorest parts of Africa, Massukos speak out against the hardships that have affected their lives. Passionate about what they do, the band travels for miles to remote villages to deliver simple life-saving messages such as "more condoms less partners".
Feliciano dos Santos – as the leader of Massukos – is also the director of Estamos, who are involved with the installation of latrines and clean water points, as well as hygiene and HIV/AIDS education.
Massukos’ work is being supported by Calabash Music‘s ‘Tune Your World’ musicians microfund. Tune Your World www.tuneyourworld.com is a music micro-funding platform and an online social network for musicians to generate funding for new music projects through a tiered system of sponsorship and fan engagement.
Music fans can go to Massukos’ page at www.tuneyourworld.com and provide microfunding towards Massukos’s environmental work – building ecological toilets and providing health care guides for rural Mozambique in return for receiving music downloads from the band.
"With the help of music fans around the world, we’re providing opportunities to support both artists and community organizing work in places where the music industry has never really worked very well–and where it is ripe for change in the era of people-to-people contact," says Brad Powell, President of Calabash Music.
Author: World Music Central News Department
World music news from the editors at World Music Central