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06 décembre 2007

46664 message misses mark - but music is a hit

While the stalwarts of the anti-HIV battle had their targets firmly in their sights at Ellis Park on Saturday during the 46664 Concert, the 45 000 strong crowd were there for the music.

The mainly young audience were enthralled by acts like Ludacris, Razorlight, Freshlyground, Just Ginger and the Goo Goo Dolls.

But the age gap between today’s youth and the concert’s driving forces, Peter Gabriel and Annie Lennox, was apparent. Fans begged for more Ludacris and hardly listened to the safer sex messages aired between acts.

One fan reported that Peter Gabriel appeared visibly shocked at the audience’s indifference to his struggle song Biko, released before most of the concert goers were born.

Most fans felt they got more than their money’s worth from the ten hour, globally broadcast show in support of Nelson Mandela’s World Aids Day initiative, taking its title from his Robben Island prison number.

Acts gave way to Aids statistics and footage of orphanages and Aids projects. But the message was lost on some of the audience, who larked around with the free condoms raining down.

Commenting on the purpose of the 46664 campaign, Deputy President and SA National Aids Council head Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said: “It’s about preventing the infections... caring for the people who are already sick. It’s about rolling out the treatment and ensuring we empower women who are at the frontline of the battle.”


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