Senator, Rasha Kelej, Merck Foundation CEO Created “Our Africa” TV Program On GH One, KTN And NTV To Address Social And Health Issues In Africa

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  • Kelej, is an African woman who dedicated her life to empowering women and girls through education through Merck Foundation’s “More than a Mother” and “Educating Linda” programs.
  • Merck Foundation is transforming the patient care landscape in Africa, we want to be part of Africa’s History…this is our legacy”, Senator Rasha Kelej emphasized.
  • I am very proud of establishing the first Fashion and Art with Purpose” community in Africa to create a culture shift.

 

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej is the first African woman to be Merck Foundation CEO, one of the world’s most important foundations, who has kept her efforts going for more than a decade. She has been working closely with more than 20 African First Ladies, who are also the Ambassadors of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother – a rallying call against female infertility stigma – for which she has been also recognized as one of the Most Influential Africans of 2019, 2020 & 2021.

Under her leadership, Merck Foundation has recently been named as the Most Influential NGO whose Collective Efforts are Shaping Africa’s Future.

What is unique is that this very dynamic and versatile CEO is also a style icon and a trailblazer who is influential in changing the perception of how fashion, film, music, and media can be a critical partner to address sensitive social and health issues, in Africa and beyond.

She a true fashionista who pays great attention to style and displays her unique style that is an amalgamation of international and African Fashion. She has struck the right blend by mixing elegant African designs with global fashion trends like a true creative leader who is strong and clear about the message she wants to send out to the universe.

Senator, Dr. Kelej has launched many awards for African Artists like singers, filmmakers, fashion designers, and also media representatives.

She is also a producer and director of various Merck Foundation media content that include inspiring music videos, short movies, and a very unique TV program called “Our Africa by Merck Foundation”. It is a pan-African TV program that is conceptualized, produced, directed, and co-hosted by Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and is broadcasting now on GH One TV.

In conversation with the very talented Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej…

You recently launched a television show “Our Africa by Merck Foundation” on GHone Kindly elaborate on what your first ever TV program is about.

“Our Africa by Merck Foundation” is a first-of-its-kind TV show is set to be the voice of the voiceless and break the silence about many critical and sensitive social and health issues in Africa. I have conceptualized, produced, directed, and hosted this pan-African show that features African Fashion Designers, Singers, and prominent experts from various domains with the aim to raise awareness and create a culture shift across Africa.

 

I have always believed that Fashion and Art are powerful tools to address and raise awareness on pressing and sensitive social and health issues in our beloved Africa and beyond. Fashion and Art have a purpose beyond just entertainment and looking good and we must make the most out of these platforms to advocate for the causes we work towards every day.

Hence, I came up with the idea of this informative yet entertaining show.

 

What are the issues you have addressed through the TV program?

Through the “Our Africa” TV program, we have addressed various critical and sensitive health issues like Diabetes Awareness, Breaking Infertility Stigma, Ending Child Marriage, Ending FGM, Stopping GBV, Supporting Girl Education, Women’s empowerment, the Importance of promoting a Healthy Lifestyle, Sustainability and up-cycled fashion, Coronavirus Awareness and many more. Each episode deals with a different topic. We address these issues through the community of our African ‘Fashion and Art with Purpose’.

 

Why is this program important to the African audience? How has it been received so far?

“Our Africa by Merck Foundation” TV program is an effort to reach out to youth and other members of urban and rural communities across the continent who are interested and fond of fashion and art to sensitize them on the above-mentioned social and sensitive issues through creative work of young African talents of music and fashion fields.

We have been receiving an overwhelming response from the audience so far. Our social media accounts are also flooded with messages from across the world. I am overwhelmed by this positive feedback and very happy that our efforts are reaching the right audience and opening a dialogue in a very positive, vibrant, and inspiring way.

 

Tell us more about the show, who does it feature?

Each episode of “Our Africa by Merck Foundation” has fashion designing workshops conducted by me and the young Fashion Designers from many African countries like Ghana, Uganda, The Gambia, Mozambique, Mauritius, Botswana, Namibia, Senegal, and more.

The designers showcased their designs with meaningful and relevant messages to break the silence and raise awareness on social and health issues.

Also, we had many young, popular, and talented African singers like Blaze from Mozambique; Kenneth from Uganda; Cwesi from Ghana; Wezi from Zambia, who appeared on the show and also sang their beautiful compositions addressing the issue being dealt with in the respective episode. We have included many of our songs in the 15 episodes.

Moreover, we also had prominent guests like Media Editors, Nutritionists, Fashion Experts, etc. to share their thoughts about the designs and the theme being addressed.

 

How can the viewers watch the show?

The show is currently being aired on TV Channels in Kenya, Uganda, and Ghana. Here are the details:

– Every Saturday @ 5:30 pm (EAT) on KTN, Kenya; re-runs on Wednesday @ 6:30 am (EAT)

– Every Sunday @ 6:30 pm (EAT) on NTV Uganda; re-runs on Thursday @ 4:00 pm (EAT)

– Every Sunday @ 2 pm on (GMT) GH One TV, Ghana; re-runs on Monday @ 1:30 pm (GMT)

The show is soon to be broadcast in other channels and countries too.

Also, viewers can watch “Our Africa by Merck Foundation” TV program and join  our conversation, on Merck Foundation Social Media Handles: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube or Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej Social Media Handles: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

 

You have also announced 8 Awards for African Artists, share more information on it.

As I have mentioned earlier, I strongly believe that Media and Art play a critical role in creating a culture shift in our communities. Hence, I have launched Media, Fashion, Song, Film Awards, to encourage the Media, Musicians, Fashion Designers, Filmmakers, students, and new potential talents in these fields we have announced the call for applications for our 8 important awards on two themes. We are conducting these awards in partnership with my dear sisters, the African First Ladies.

The themes of the two categories of awards announced for 2022 are: 1) Breaking Infertility Stigma, Support Girls’ Education, End Child Marriage, End FGM, Stopping GBV and/ or Women Empowerment at all levels and 2) promote a healthy lifestyle and raise awareness about prevention and early detection of Diabetes and Hypertension.

I’d like to invite all fashion designers, singers, filmmakers, media representatives, and young talents to apply for these important awards and become health and social champions to become the voice of the voiceless in their communities. Kindly share in entries through an email at [email protected] .

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