Pretoria - African artists alongside the Department of Arts and Culture pledged to lend a helping hand to victims hit by tropical cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.
The massive storm caused catastrophic damage in the three countries leaving more than 1000 people dead and thousands more missing.
Zimbabwean artist, Don Dada pleaded with the public to donate in order to aid those in most need. He sent out his plea during a media briefing held at the GCIS in Pretoria.
He said: “This situation hit us hard and I was struggling to find ways I could contribute as an artist.
"But the department opened its doors for us to contribute our voices and faces to plead with the public to please help our families and donate.
"I think that as Africans, this is not the only opportunity to stand together, but to continue to be together.
"There has been so much xenophobia and things affecting us but I think this is an opportunity for us to come together as a bridge,” he said.
Arts and Culture Minister, Nathi Mthethwa said since the cyclone hit the three countries, the department had been in consultation with stakeholders regarding ways to provide assistance to victims affected by the cyclone.
He revealed that in Mozambique, more than 600 people died among the 1.5 million people affected, about 344 have been killed in Zimbabwe and that the heavy rainfall in Southern Malawi drowned and killed 59 people.
“Due to this we have issued a clarion call to the artists present here today, and many more who have pledged allegiance to this cause, to join the department in organising a series of programmes for the benefit of the victims of Cyclone Idai.
"I am glad that artists heeded the call to come bearing not just aid in the form of non-perishable food and money, but their unquantifiable contributions in the form of their creativity and art that will surely count for much for those this is intended for,” he said.