Corruption Watch has collaborated with feisty young up and coming artist Fiesta Black, to create a hard-hitting song that expresses the exasperation that many people feel about the high levels of corruption in South Africa.

The song “Hayi Basile”, which loosely translated means “They are wicked”, is being released by Corruption Watch on 9 December, to coincide with the UN-designated International Anti-Corruption Day. This was established to raise awareness of corruption and of the role of the UN Convention against Corruption in combating and preventing the illegal activity. 

Fiesta Black, like many other young South Africans, has experienced the effects of corruption and seen how people so easily get away with illegal actions.

Having decided to collaborate with Corruption Watch on this song, she’s using her creativity to voice the frustrations of so many young people who feel powerless in their own country.

David Lewis, executive director of Corruption Watch, explains the organisation’s motivation for collaborating on a house music track that focuses on corruption, why it is targeting young people, and what it hopes to achieve through this. 

“The opportunity to work with Fiesta Black was something we could not turn down. She is a wonderful fresh new talent, and we think she has the profile right now to reach young people, and to create a bit of a stir.”

Click on the YouTube player below to immedaitely begin listening!

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Download the lyrics to "Hayi Basile" in MS Word document format.

Getting the youth involved

The organisation’s decision to use a song to expose corruption was intentional, Lewis continued, and was “informed in part by the results of a survey we conducted with young people earlier this year, many of whom said they would consider participating in an anti-corruption campaign that used music, art or theatre.  And it takes us that much closer to our goal of trying to build a culture of activism among the youth in fighting corruption.”

The lyrics profile those in positions of power who lead lavish lifestyles at the expense of others, and how it is ordinary people who work hard who bear the brunt of this. The song also carries a message to the youth that if you condone or offer bribes, you are part of the problem, “just as wicked as them”. 

Corruption Watch will be officially launching its Youth Campaign on 19 February 2015 at an event that will feature a performance by Fiesta Black. 

More to come from CW

Clearly, merely releasing a song will not change things overnight, and this is just one of the channels Corruption Watch is using to get young people involved in the fight against corruption.

Other activities include the launch on 9 December of a Pan-African writing and photographic competition, My Corruption Free Africa, which asks entrants from across the continent to send stories and images with the theme of “Corruption through my eyes”. 

The competition is open to any African youth between the ages of 16 – 30, and there are great prizes up for grabs – first prize is a cool $1 000, while the first runner-up will get $500 and the second runner-up will get $250.

The competition opens on 9 December 2014 and all entries must be in by 16 January 2015. All entries must be submitted within the competition deadlines to be considered. More details will be available on our website tomorrow, International Anti-Corruption Day.

Corruption Watch has also collaborated with FunDza to release a seven-chapter fictional story on the Mxit platform about corruption in the licensing sector, running from 5 – 11 December. The story is also being made available, chapter by chapter, on the Corruption Watch website.

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Corruption Watch has collaborated with feisty young up and coming artist Fiesta Black, to create a hard-hitting song that expresses the exasperation that many people feel about the high levels of corruption in South Africa. The song is available for download – share it around!