Concordia students and local musicians Sara Ali, also known as Naya Abesha, andÂ Magda AyukÂ started a school project to promote awareness and raise money for organizations that cater to the needs of persons affected by HIV/AIDS. Her initiative, Knowledge is Sexy, has expanded to a benefit concert and show this Sunday that will raise money, spread awareness, and show that ignorance about sexually-transmitted infections is not an excuse.
Numerous Montreal talents are also lending a hand to bring Knowledge is Sexy to life, including MC and award-winning local hip-hop phenomenon Empire Isis.
“The fact that HIV/AIDS and other [sexually transmitted infections] are on the rise in Montreal is an indicator that not only proper sexual education is a must, but that a constant awareness is also needed,” said Ayuk. “With knowledge, the stigma has a fighting chance of disappearing to naught.”
The event has proven to be the perfect opportunity for Ayuk and Abesha to mesh their creative sides with a growing interest in the promotion of safer sex. Abesha will be giving supporters a taste of what to expect from her upcoming EP, which will be a mixture of soul, reggae and Afro.
Jonathan Emile, a local hip-hop artist, will be one of evening’s headlining acts. Excited about Sunday’s event, Emile couldn’t pass up the opportunity to participate. “All of my music is a humanitarian project,” said Emile. “Everything you see, hear and buy has a message and reason behind it.”
Also headlining is Bad Weather, a well-grounded artist in the Montreal scene, whose unique use of ambient sound is sure to please.
Fabrice Koffy, a member of the live organic improvisation band Kalmunity, will perform urban spoken word poetry, and singer Sarah Mk will bring her sound, which has a more jazz-urban feel to it. On top of the musical acts, there will be a comedy sketch and a performance by local urban-contemporary dance troupe MusiQuon.
The funds raised will be donated to SOS Children’s Villages, an internationally run organization for the prevention of HIV/AIDS, as well as to Montreal-based program the Native Friendship Centre of Montreal.
Tickets are $10 in advance and can be bought at Glow Authority, located at 1616 Ste-Catherine W, Suite 2040.
Knowledge is Sexy takes place at Restaurant Le Grillon Inc., located at 1950, Ste-Catherine E. March 27 at 6 p.m.