African stars unite youth to “Draw The Line” against malaria and take back their futures

  • Young people from across the African continent and globally are invited to join the Zero Malaria Starts With Me movement and take action to end the world’s oldest deadliest disease with a bold new campaign: Draw The Line Against Malaria.
  • The campaign is powered by African changemakers, including Eliud Kipchoge, Olympic Gold-medallist and marathon world record-holder; Siya Kolisi, Captain of the Springboks; Dr Omotola J Ekeinde, Nigerian actress and philanthropist; Sherrie Silver, award-winning Rwandan British choreographer; Osas Ighodaro, Nigerian American actress and producer; Saray Khumalo, South African explorer; and Láolú Senbanjo, global artist from Nigeria and Art Director for the campaign.
  • Created by dentsu International, Draw The Line Against Malaria unites and inspires young people to draw the line against malaria at using a unique malaria ‘Muundo’ language created by acclaimed Nigerian artist Láolú Senbanjo.

24 February 2021: Geneva/Johannesburg/Kigali/Lagos/Nairobi: Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new youth-focused creative campaign powered by African stars launches today to ‘draw the line’ against malaria, one of humanity’s oldest and deadliest diseases.

The Draw The Line Against Malaria campaign is fronted by a team of changemakers coming together to inspire young people from across the African continent and the globe to call on their leaders at and push for political action to end malaria within a generation.

The campaign launches exactly four months ahead of the Kigali Summit on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases, being held on the eve of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Rwanda on 24th June. The Summit is a milestone moment in the malaria fight and enabler of game changing political decisions including delivering the commitment to halve malaria across the Commonwealth by 2023.

The Draw The Line Against Malaria campaign, which supports the growing Zero Malaria Starts with Me movement, reflects the energy, talent, and cultural influence emanating from the African continent with references to art, fashion, music, sport, and entertainment. The campaign combines an interactive digital platform at and is brought to life through a powerful film highlighting young people taking charge of their lives and refusing to allow malaria to steal their futures.

Kenyan athlete and Olympic Gold Medallist Eliud Kipchoge says: “I believe in the power of human potential and our ability to change the world, because no human is limited. Malaria has no place in our lives today. This disease has stolen from us for too long, stopping people from working and children from going to school. Even now, malaria is still taking the life of a young child every two minutes. We can change this, we can overtake this preventable, treatable disease and end it in my lifetime. Join me and let’s draw the line against malaria once and for all.”

Draw The Line Against Malaria campaign film features a coalition of stars and malaria champions

The campaign is supported by a host of high-level global talent from Africa including:

  • Dr Omotola J Ekeinde, Nigerian actress and philanthropist
  • Osas Ighodaro, Nigerian American actress and producer
  • Saray Khumalo, South African explorer
  • Eliud Kipchoge, Kenyan athlete, Olympic Gold-medallist and marathon world record-holder
  • Siya Kolisi, Captain of the Springboks, South Africa’s World Cup winning rugby team
  • Láolú Senbanjo, Nigerian Artist
  • Sherrie Silver, award-winning Rwandan British choreographer

Acclaimed Nigerian music video director Meji Alabi directed the campaign film which will be rolled out on channels and platforms across Africa. In the film, the stars are joined by global artist Láolú Senbanjo, and a team of malaria community champions who feature in different scenes to tell the human story of malaria and the devastating impact it has on their education, employment, health, and prospects.

With 74% of Africans now aged under 35, the youth contingent are powerful agents of change and the campaign represents a rallying cry for them to step up action in the fight against malaria which claims the life of a child every two minutes.

MUUNDO – Building a new movement against malaria

At the heart of the campaign is a fresh new universal visual language made up of lines, symbols, and patterns, the ‘Muundo,’ created by Láolú Senbanjo, global artist from Nigeria and Art Director for the Draw The Line Against Malaria campaign.

The language is a beautiful, eye-catching visual representation of the actions that are needed to end malaria once and for all within a generation from cutting-edge technology and innovations to increased investment and bold political actions.

The campaign asks people everywhere to visit and add a personal line of Muundo art to a growing piece of crowdsourced artwork which represents a visual call to action to world leaders. The artwork will be shared with leaders at the Malaria and NTDs Summit on 24 June 2021.

Láolú Senbanjo says: “Malaria is something that millions of people across Africa have to deal with. We know the amount of time malaria steals from our lives.  That’s why I’m honored to be using my art, the Sacred Art of the Ori, to create the Muundo, the world’s first malaria language as a fresh expression of our opportunity to end this disease. Join me, draw your own line next to mine as a symbol of support for Zero Malaria.”

Daniël Sytsma, Chief Design Officer, Isobar & Creative, dentsu says: “We worked with creators and makers from across Africa to design this campaign as a movement, one that celebrates the creativity and positivity from a generation that is ready to claim their future. With the Muundo we want to provide young people with the tools and the language to deliver a powerful message.”

Now is the time to Draw The Line Against Malaria and recommit to a Zero Malaria future

The Draw The Line Against Malaria campaign launches against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although 90% of life-saving malaria prevention campaigns were delivered as planned in 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that disruption to malaria diagnosis and treatment could lead to thousands of additional deaths across the African continent.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic half of the world’s population were already living with the threat of malaria and, despite promising progress since the beginning of the millennium, the parasite is fighting back. Indeed, the most recent WHO World Malaria Report, shows that now is not the time to step away with 229 million new infections and over 400,000 malaria deaths reported in 2019. The vast majority of these deaths are young children under five across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr Abdourahmane Diallo, CEO of RBM Partnership to End Malaria says: “Countries held the line on malaria during 2020 – and this year we must draw the line for good. Long-time investments in the malaria fight continue to pay dividends and are pulling double duty during the pandemic. By strengthening our health care systems, we can better respond to both new and existing health threats.

“Together, we can end malaria, and today’s youth can be the generation that rids the world of this ancient and deadly disease and achieves a malaria free future for all. Today, we must all draw the line against malaria and recommit to achieving zero malaria in Africa and around the world.”

Unifying communities and leaders everywhere, the Draw The Line Against Malaria campaign aims to inspire a new generation to join the Zero Malaria Starts With Me movement, supporting the African Union’s (AU) Catalytic Framework to end AIDS, TB, and Eliminate Malaria in Africa by 2030, and ALMA’s Malaria Youth Army.

Dr Elvis Ikechukwu Eze, a young medical doctor and malaria youth champion from Nigeria says: “In terms of inequality, we know that malaria prevents more children from going to school than you can imagine. Getting an education is the first step to success and a good life. Malaria continues to deprive Africa of its prosperity and economic potential. The more we make efforts to eradicate malaria now, the more our future will be preserved in many ways.

“If my generation looks around, they will see how malaria affects them. We must unite to defeat this disease once and for all. We can educate ourselves, inform our friends and work within our communities to get rid of them locally. We must ensure that no avenue is overlooked to eradicate malaria.”

The Draw The Line Against Malaria campaign was created by dentsu International, who led the creative strategy, concept, production, and media, and developed by a coalition of agencies, including the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), the African Union Commission, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Impact Santé Afrique, Malaria No More UK, RBM Partnership to End Malaria and Speak Up Africa.

– ENDS –

About Malaria No More UK: 

Malaria No More is a UK charity determined to end malaria by inspiring the UK public, businesses and government to fight for a malaria-free world. / @malarianomoreuk

About the African Union

The African Union (AU) is a continental organization to which the 55 member states that make up the countries of the African continent have adhered. It was officially founded in 2002 to take over from the Organization of African Unity (OAU, 1963-1999). The AU is part of the vision “of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, led by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force on the international scene”. To ensure the realization of its objectives and the pan-African vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, Agenda 2063 was developed as a strategic framework for Africa’s socioeconomic and integrative transformation.

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About ALMA

Founded in 2009, the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) is a ground-breaking coalition of African heads of state and government working across country and regional borders to achieve a malaria-free Africa by 2030. All member states of the African Union are members of ALMA.

About Speak Up Africa

Based in Dakar, Senegal, Speak Up Africa is a non-profit strategic communication and advocacy organization dedicated to catalyzing African leadership, fostering policy change and raising awareness about sustainable development in Africa. Through our programs, networks and with the help of our partners, we ensure that decision-makers meet with actors on the ground, that solutions are presented and that every sector – from citizens and civil society groups to financial partners and business leaders – contributes critically to the dialogue and strives to take concrete action for health and sustainable development on the continent.

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About the RBM Partnership to End Malaria

The RBM Partnership to End Malaria is the largest global platform for coordinated action against malaria. Originally established as Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership in 1998, it mobilises for action and resources and forges consensus among partners. The Partnership is comprised of more than 500 partners, including malaria endemic countries, their bilateral and multilateral development partners, the private sector, nongovernmental and community-based organisations, foundations, and research and academic institutions. The RBM Partnership Secretariat is hosted by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in Geneva, Switzerland.

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Twitter: @endmalaria