Swedish authorities use hip-hop and RnB artists to reach minorities and the suburbs with information about COVID-19.
It was discovered that many of those who passed away due to COVID-19 in Sweden were Somalis, and that one of the reasons might have been that essential advice hadn’t reached everyone in society.
Cherrie was one of the artists who was asked to help the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency to reach out with information. Cherrie is Swedish-Somalian with millions of streams on Spotify and hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram, many of them Swedish-Somalis. She posted a video on Instagram to raise awareness about the virus.
“In the Stockholm area, half of those who have passed away in COVID-19 are Swedish-Somalis. I know that there are a lot of Somalis following me, and now I reach out to you. Please, talk to your relatives. We must stay at home as much as we can, we must wash our hands.” Cherrie says in a video that she posted on Instagram. Cherrie received hundreds of positive comments on her post.
“It is important that we, who have parents who may not understand how serious this is, talk to our relatives. Right now, it is important that we all take responsibility”, the R&B artist wrote on Instagram.
Cherrie says that the class differences become very clear in times like these, and that people in the suburbs are easily forgotten. It is unusual for artists and people from the suburbs to be asked for help by the authorities, but Cherrie hopes that the relationship will improve when people can see the positive effects of cooperation.