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Outspoken Mozambican Hip-Hop Artist Azagaia Is Appealing to Fans for Donations to Remove His Brain Tumour

Photo by Rita da Silva published on the page Ajuda O Mano Azagaia (Help Brother Azagaia) and used with permission. The campaign raised 10% of the funds for treatment on its first day.
Photo by Rita da Silva published on the page Ajuda O Mano Azagaia (Help
Brother Azagaia) and used with permission. The campaign raised 10% of the
funds for treatment on its first day.

By Dércio Ernesto Tsandzana, Translated by Janet Gunter
Mozambican rapper Edson da Luz, better known as Azagaia, has revealed on his social media accounts that he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Some weeks ago, he suffered a strong epileptic attack and started to show behavior inconsistent with his personality, such as states of mental confusion and memory loss. Exams in Mozambique and South Africa confirmed a tumor on the left side of his brain.

If not operated on soon, the 30-year-old singer could die within two years. Considering the high cost of intervention in Mozambique and the probable wait time for surgery through the country's national health system, Azagaia was advised to continue treatment in India. Meanwhile, without financial resources to pay for the operation costing US $25,000, the musician is asking for contributions from his fans:
All that I want is to get the money for this operation in India, but always praying for a miracle. From the bottom of my heart, the miracle that I want to see happen, is that this tumor disappears as it appeared, that is, without them having to take a knife to my head.

Azagaia, whose name means spear, has won fans for challenging those in power and addressing social issues in his music. His lyrics have caught the attention of government officials, too; in 2008, he was called in for questioning at the attorney general's office related to his music allegedly inciting violence.

Fans reacted by sharing the Facebook post by his management over 700 times on Monday, Aug. 25. They left numerous messages for the singer in the comment thread. Many, like Moises Jesus Alberto, demonstrated their unconditional support for the rapper:
Brother Azagaia have faith the people are with you, you are a source of inspiration for many young people, including me
Marcelo Massaite Jossias wrote:
Mozambique is with you, I am sure that many do not need to go to church to pray for you, but as soon as they hear of your condition they will ask God every minute to help you. We are with you bro.
 Edgar Kamikaze Barroso shared a video of support for Azagaia on his wall:
Spread the message if you can. At the end of the video there are bank account details and contact details if you need any extra information.
An equal number of messages of support appeared on Twitter:
I was speechless and sad at the same time with Azagaia's video
Let's help Azagaia. A little or a lot let's help.
Solidarity with Azagaia, the voice of the voiceless.
A Facebook page called Ajuda O Mano Azagaia (Help Azagaia) already has 3,300 likes. The crowdfunding campaign Azagaia Brain Tumor Operation Fund has reached US $5,724 with 10 percent of the goal donated on the first day alone.

Reprinted with permission from Global Voices.

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