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Utaka, Others Encourage Action on Malaria, HIV/AIDS - THISDAY

Utaka, Others Encourage Action on Malaria, HIV/AIDS


Some of Africa's top footballers, along with stars of the England team, have lent their support to a series of public education films produced on behalf of Comic Relief, the UK-based charity, being broadcast across Africa.  The series of 10 short films featuring teams or individual players focus on three key issues: malaria, HIV/AIDS and education. Each uses humour to communicate a serious message and encourages people to take action to protect and help themselves and their families.

Stars including John Utaka of Portsmouth and Nigeria, Emmanuel Eboue of Arsenal and Cote dIvoire, Salif Diao, Abdoulaye Faye and Amdy Faye, all of Stoke City and Senegal, Sebastien Bassong of Cameroon and Spurs, Mamady Sidibe of Stoke City and Mali, Kolo Toure of Manchester City and Cote dIvoire and Aaron Mokoena of Portsmouth and South Africa got involved in the campaign.  They were joined by Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United and England and Peter Crouch of Spurs and England.  All the players got into the spirit of the films by putting in enthusiastic performances through goal celebrations urging viewers to use a mosquito net, know their HIV status and wear a Condom and send their children to school. It is hoped that these goal celebrations will also be embraced by the teams during English Premier League matches.

 The films will be broadcast during the live showing of Premiership games on "free to view" television stations in over 30 countries throughout sub-Sahara Africa and will reach a weekly audience of 300 million viewers.  The broadcast time has been fully supported by the English Premier League and donated by Optima Sports Marketing which distributes live Premiership games throughout Africa and the campaign will run until the end of the current season in May.  The films have been created by Mother, the London-based advertising agency.


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