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Campaign Art: Ebola In Town

Roxanne Bauer's picture

People, Spaces, Deliberation bloggers present exceptional campaign art from all over the world. These examples are meant to inspire.

Ebola virus is experiencing a break out summer. The latest outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone is the worst ever, resulting in the death of almost 900 lives and infecting more than 1603 people across West Africa. The virus is also experiencing unexpected popularity on the dance floor.  

A new song, "Ebola in Town," recorded by a trio of West African rappers, warns of the dangers of Ebola over a catchy electronic beat. Residents of Monrovia and Conakry, the capitals of Liberia and Guinea, and have created a dance to go along with the song.  The lyrics warn "don't touch your friend" and "no eating something, it's dangerous," and the dance, fittingly, does not include any touching.

This advice is technically incorrect (you cannot contract Ebola virus from simply touching another person but rather through contact with bodily fluids) and may increase the social stigma that people recovering from Ebola face, an issue health workers are attempting to adress.  While the song is off-message, it may nonetheless be helpful in raising awareness. Many people in West Africa are not sure of the actual danger level, which may be exacerbated by illiteracy-  43.3% of adults in Sierra Leon, 42.9% in Liberia and only 25.3% in Guinea's are literate.  In these countries, music, theater, and radio are popular media to spread public information.

The song is not a part of an organized public health campaign, and the artists are not believed to have written the song for an aid agency or health organization.  To listen to the song, click here.

The lyrics to "Ebola's in Town" by D-12, Shadow, & Kuzzy of 2Kings

Something happen
Something in town
Oh yeah the news
I said something in town


Ebola in town
Don’t touch your friend!
No touching
No eating something
It’s dangerous!

Ebola in town
Don’t touch your friend!
No kissing!
No eating something

It’s dangerous!


I woke up in the morning
I started hearing people dem yelling
“Da what thing happen? What thing happen? Ma pekin what thing?”
Eh man!

They sit down grab me
They say something in town
That thing that in town it quick to kill
That me scary-o
Ebola. Ebola in town.

I started yelling
I started running
What place I will go?
I go to Guinea
I went everywhere
Ebola. Ebola there.
I’m not going anywhere.
I’m right here.
I’m not going nowhere.
I’m right here.
I know the medicine.
That distant hugging
I said distant shaking
Distant kissing
Don’t touch me!


Something in town-oh
Something in town-eh
Ebola. Ebola in town.
It’s dangerous-o.

Ebola is very wicked.
It can kill you quick quick
Be careful how you shaking hands-o
Be careful who you touch
Ebola is more than HIV/AIDS
It can kill you quick quick
It can kill you fast fast

Don’t touch your friend.

I say it will kill you-o.


My pa Jehovah
Please save us from Ebola
Nowhere to go
Nowhere to hide
And I ain’t come in town
My people, ya’ll please take time
Take time before you get that disease
Don’t overlook it
That thing it quick to kill

Don’t take it for joke
My people, I saw it before
Be on the safe side, you hear me?


If you like the monkey
Don’t eat the meat
If you like the baboon
I said don’t eat the meat
If you like the bat-o
Don’t eat the meat

Ebola In Town - D - 12, Shadow & Kuzzy Of 2Kings
Source: shadowmrgn via SoundCloud
Photography by European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, available here
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Fact Sheet: World Bank Group Emergency Financing for the Ebola Crisis

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