Thomas Muchimba Buttenschøn shuts down HIV stigma in new doccie 'Doin’ My Drugs'
Share this article:
In his compelling new documentary “Doin’ My Drugs”, Zambian-born Danish musician Thomas Muchimba Buttenschøn shuts down stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS and antiretroviral drugs (ARVs).
The muso also opens up about how “Doin’ My Drugs” has saved his life after he was born with HIV.
The new doccie which premiered on Showmax on Monday, September 6, follows the heart rending story of the Buttenschøns who discover that they had contracted HIV after the birth of their new born son.
In the hope of finding treatment for HIV back in the 80’s, the young family moved to Denmark. A few years later, when Thomas was just eight, both his parents succumbed to AIDS related complications.
After becoming severely ill himself at 13, Buttenschøn started taking antiretroviral (ARVs) treatment. During his journey to recovery, Buttenschøn found solace in music.
Following his success in music and his songs hitting millions of streams on Spotify, the star made a stint as a judge on the popular, Denmark’s Got Talent show.
Now married with two children, he is HIV negative, thanks to his medication.
The muso is now embarking on a new mission - to make a meaningful difference in the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic back home in Zambia.
Statistics from the United Nations AIDS programme (UNAIDS) show that an alarming 1.5 million people out of the country’s 1.8 million population live with HIV.
Shocked by these stats, Buttenschøn says he wants to contribute to a better understanding of HIV and lifesaving ARVs, using his music and his own life story as an example.
On his journey Buttenschøn has formed strong bonds and working relationships with a group of extraordinary Zambian musicians including B-Flow, Danny Kaya, John Chiti, Maiko and Mwiza Zulu.
Buttenschøn, in partnership with Tyler Q Rosen, director of “Doin’ My Drugs”, started the Muchimba Music Foundation (MMF), with the sole aim of creating change and awareness around HIV and ARVs, through music.
Through this newly established foundation, the duo created a program for residents of the Zambian capital, Lusaka, to receive free tickets to a concert if they agreed to an HIV test.
Buttenschøn also released a soundtrack album to the documentary, to assist with funding, titled “Doin’ My Drugs”.
The 11 track album is produced by 16-time Grammy Award winning producer, Thom Russo Jr, and recorded on three continents: Europe, Africa, and the United States.
The music video was shot for over 120 days, over two and a half years, spanning the three continents of Africa, Europe, and North America
“Doin’ My Drugs” is streaming on Showmax.