Yemi Alade Voices New Animation for World Malaria Day and Joins African Changemakers Behind the ‘Draw The Line’ Against Malaria Campaign


London, April 21, 2021: Grammy Award-winning Nigerian Afropop singer, songwriter, actress and activist, Yemi Alade, joins African superstars supporting the Draw The Line Against Malaria campaign to inspire and empower 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 ground-breaking campaign, first launched across Africa in February 2021, is a unifying global platform designed to capture youth, community and public imagination, and will be rolled out globally on World Malaria Day. In the UK, the campaign calls on leaders to protect malaria funding and launches ahead of the G7 and Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting both in June 2021, where leaders including the UK, will be making crucial decisions on funding and political commitments towards ending malaria.

The campaign aims to generate mass awareness and high visibility for the Zero Malaria Starts with Me movement across malaria-affected countries and beyond, and reflects the huge energy, talent, and cultural influence emanating from the African continent with references to art, fashion, music, sport, and entertainment.

As the voice of a new Draw The Line animationYemi Alade joins other African changemakers from across the continent lending their talents to fight the disease:  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.

With narration from Yemi Alade and in partnership with dentsu International, the Draw The Line animation explores the story behind ‘Muundo’ – a fresh new universal visual language created by Láolú Senbanjo, made up of eye-catching lines, symbols, and patterns. The language is a beautiful, visual representation of the actions that are needed to end malaria within a generation, from cutting-edge technology and innovations to increased investment and bold political actions.

Nigerian Afropop singer, songwriter, actress and activist Yemi Alade says: “Living in Nigeria I have suffered from malaria many times in my life, and it’s devastating. It’s outrageous that this preventable and treatable disease is still stealing young futures and limiting life choices indiscriminately. But we can work together to find our voices, break down boundaries, and stop malaria in its tracks. I love to see people pushing themselves to find out what they are really capable of – getting up and fighting for what’s right is our collective superpower, and we can all change course of history together.”

The animation shows the different ways that malaria impacts young people, as well at the ways that it can be reduced and ultimately eliminated.  As part of their partnership to support the Draw The Line Against Malaria campaign, ViacomCBS Networks Africa (VCNA) will broadcast the animation on Nickelodeon’s global platforms. It will also be shown on other regional television channels and digital networks.

To bring the animation to life, dentsu worked with award-winning animation studio LOBO.  The team animated Láolú Sebanjo's patchworks and applied them as textures into 3D models. To blend together multiple styles, the studio created a layer of upbeat animation with their talented team of 2D artists. In contrast to the fast-paced graphics, the camera moves with a slower rhythm, addressing the seriousness of the subject matter. The result is a fresh mix of different techniques and rhythms all packed by the beautiful energy of Yemi Alade's voice.

Kika Douglas, Executive Creative Director at dentsuAchtung! says: “Malaria is the world's oldest and deadliest disease but we can eradicate it within our generation. What has been missing to date is a campaign that can inspire and unite a generation. Draw The Line is not only a call to action to this generation to claim their future; it's a stage that shows the world the incredible array of talent, power and creativity of African youth.”

The Draw The Line 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 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 UK Government’s Commitment to Malaria is up for Review

Historically, the UK has been a critical leader in the fight to end malaria both financially and through the contribution of science, innovation, and political leadership. In 2019 the Conservative party committed in its election manifesto to maintain its global leadership on malaria eradication.

2021 sees three major moments for the UK to once again lead and act, both to strengthen the world’s health defences and see through its mission to end malaria:

  • In June, the UK Government will host the G7 group of major economies pledged to focus on action on pandemic preparedness, and later the same month will join 53 Commonwealth Heads of Government in Kigali, Rwanda, to review progress against the commitment to halve malaria across the Commonwealth by 2023.
  • In October, the UK Government will decide on whether to renew its current financial commitment towards ending malaria which stands at £500m per year.

Investment in Malaria Programmes is a Direct Investment in our Health Security

Investments in malaria over the last two decades have strengthened global health systems and kept almost 100 million malaria cases out of health clinics and hospitals in 2018. During COVID-19, countries have drawn on capacity and infrastructure created through investments in malaria to facilitate their response.

James Whiting, CEO of Malaria No More UK said: “Malaria programmes, by correctly diagnosing fever diseases, are on the frontline of the global COVID-19 response. Any cuts to malaria programmes now could contribute not just to a resurgence in malaria cases, but also directly hamper the global response to control COVID-19. Britain has much to be proud of in leading the fight against malaria. Now more than ever we need British diplomacy and investment to continue to see off COVID-19 and get the world back on track towards ending this terrible disease once and for all. The G7 and Commonwealth summits in June present prime opportunities for our country to lead by example.”

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.


For further information, contact:

Fiona Magill, Senior PR Director, dentsu International +44 7545 101153


*Spokespeople are available for interview


Siya Kolisi, Captain of the Springboks, South Africa’s World Cup winning rugby team, says: “Every child, every young person deserves the chance to step into their potential. This is a world changing campaign and we have the opportunity to protect the futures of millions of children across Africa. My message to young people is to get excited and to get involved because this is one disease we can end within a generation. Together we stand and say: Malaria: We’re too strong for you.”

Dr Omotola J Ekeinde, Nigerian actress and philanthropist, says: “It would be incredible if we could end malaria in Africa, I have known this disease my whole life. It breaks my heart that Nigeria is so affected with over 250 lives lost here every single day. This campaign is a moment for us to unite in determination and action, it’s time to take our futures back.”

Sherrie Silver, award-winning Rwandan British choreographer, says: “I lost my nine-year-old cousin to malaria and at that moment my life changed. Ending malaria became a personal mission for me. It is not acceptable that in this day and age malaria remains a huge killer of children. I’m proud to be a part of this campaign which is building up to a critical leadership moment in June when my home country Rwanda will host a Global Summit on Malaria and NTDs at the time of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.”

Meji Alabi, Nigerian film director, says: “This campaign is a beautiful opportunity to change the   narrative and to show off the infectious energy, talent and inspiration coming out of Africa right now. From art, to music, culture, and fashion – the influence and creativity is palpable. It’s refreshing to talk about the world’s oldest disease in a new way and to focus on young people because our actions today will help transform their futures. Being Nigerian myself I’ve lost a lot of loved ones to malaria and it is time for this to change.”

Osas Ighodaro, Nigerian American actress says: “This is a cause very close to my heart. My sister was expecting her baby in 2006 and she caught malaria and was not able to overcome it…it was a devastating time. Right now, 1 in 3 pregnant women suffer from malaria in sub-Saharan Africa – this is a human problem because malaria can be beaten if we unite together. This campaign is a moment for change and I fully believe in my heart, we will see and celebrate the day when malaria is no more.”

Saray Khumalo, South African explorer, says: “Ending malaria will change the course of humanity for good, foreverI grew up living with malaria in DRC and Zambia, so I know how devastating this disease is. Malaria is a human problem that is entirely preventable so we can all be involved helping to solve it. South Africa is a great example of a country where malaria elimination is within our grasp.”

Animation credits:

Voice Over: Yemi Alade
Agency: dentsuACHTUNG!
Creative Team: Daniel Sytsma, Kika Douglas, Sam Souen, Daniel Bunde
Agency Producer: Iris Starmans


Creative Director: Mateus de Paula Santos
Directors: Alton (Felipe Machado, Tiago Marcondes)
Executive Producer: Loic Dubois, Pedro Ramos
Concept Art: Renato Klieger, Rômulo de Oliveira, Vinicius Lousa
Art Director: Alton, Rômulo de Oliveira, Renato Klieger
Storyboard: Rômulo de Oliveira
Head of Production: Clara Morelli
Producer: Pablo Zurita
Post-Production Producer: Pablo Zurita
2D Animation: Nathalia Okimoto, Bruno Tedesco, Gian Burani
3D Coordinator: Gustavo Rangel
3D Animation: Gustavo Rangel
Modelling: Juliano Araújo
Rigging/Character Animation: Danilo Enoki, Helio Takahashi
Texture: Gustavo Rangel, Bruno Tedesco, Rômulo de Oliveira
Lighting & Render: Gustavo Rangel
R&D: Filipe Lopes
Composition: Supernova Duo, Nathalia Okimoto
After Effects: Supernova Duo 


Soundtrack: Muanapoto, Performed by Tshegue
Written & composed by Faty Sy Savanet and Nicolas Dacunha-Castelle2017 Dakou Studios under exclusive license to EOS Records
Copyright EOS Publishing & Dakou Studios - 2017, Courtesy of Ekler'o'shock and Dakou Studios
Sound Design and Mix: AntFood 

Media Partners:

Draw the Line campaign partners:

Global partners: the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), the African Union (AU), The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Impact Santé Afrique, dentsu International, Malaria No More UK, RBM Partnership to End Malaria and Speak Up Africa
Supporting Partners: Goodbye Malaria, Rentokil Initial, Restless Development. Results, Sanofi, Target Malaria, and ViacomCBS Networks Africa
Broadcast partner: DStv
Creative & Brand Strategy: dentsu International

About the Zero Malaria Starts With Me movement and Draw The Line campaign: 

  • In 2018 the world came together to demand urgent action against malaria. Zero Malaria Starts with Me was launched by African Union leaders and in communities and countries across Africa, and 53 Heads of Government came together to commit to halve malaria in the Commonwealth by 2023.  
  • The movement has generated community Zero Malaria champions supporting national End Malaria Funds to drive private sector investment. Others have established parliamentary groups to advocate for greater action and resources to fight malaria.  
  • The next few years are critical to reach out 2030 targets. In 2021 we will inspire a new generation to join the Zero Malaria Starts With Me movement with the fresh new Draw the Line Against Malaria campaign, creating a unifying, ground-breaking and inspiring global platform which will capture youth and public imagination, and rally communities and leaders. The campaign aims to generate mass awareness and high visibility for the Zero Malaria Starts with Me movement across malaria-affected countries and beyond. 
  • On the 22 February Viacom CBS Networks Africa announced that it was joining forces with the ZMSWM movement and supporting the Draw The Line Against Malaria campaign. 

About dentsu: 

  • Part of dentsu, dentsu international is made up of leadership brands - Carat, dentsu X, iProspect, Isobar, dentsumcgarrybowen and Merkle and supported by its specialist brands. Dentsu International helps clients to win, keep and grow their best customers and achieve meaningful progress for their businesses. With best-in-class services and solutions in media, CXM, and creative, dentsu international operates in over 145 markets worldwide with more than 46,000 dedicated specialists. 
  • dentsu’s partnership with Malaria No More UK is part of its Social Impact strategy and commitment to the United Nations to use the power of media and advertising to drive delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

About Dentsu’s partnership with Malaria No More

Dentsu International’s support of Malaria No More began in 2017, born out of its commitment to the United Nations’ Common Ground collaboration. #MalariaMustDie was the first campaign launched with dentsu’s support, supported by a range of agencies both inside and outside of dentsu including Carat, iProspect, Amplifi and Isobar. The campaign reached 1 billion people globally and in April 2018 at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London 53 Heads of Government committed to halve malaria in the Commonwealth by 2023. At the Malaria Summit which happened at the time of CHOGM, governments, science and the private sector added their support pledging $4.1 billion to accelerate research and development of new tools for the malaria fight and expand access to life-saving tools.

In 2019, dentsu agency Isobar developed a web tool to report progress towards halving malaria by 2023 using data provided by the World Health Organisation. Together with the Malaria Creative Collective, dentsu helped raise an additional USD$14 billion at the Global Fund Replenishment in October 2019. In 2019 Dentsu was appointed to lead the strategic development of a global brand, Zero Malaria, with the power to unite all malaria activity across the world. Created by Isobar, the Zero Malaria brand launched on World Malaria Day 2020.


2021 – A Key Year for Malaria: 

  • Two decades of partnership and global commitment have led to transformative progress against malaria preventing 1.5 billion cases, cutting deaths by more than 60 per cent and saving more than 7.6 million lives since 2000 – this represents millions of children who have grown up to lead happy and productive lives. At the beginning of 2020 mortality rates were at the lowest point ever, but the world has changed since then.  
  • A remarkable collective effort across Africa has enabled countries to fight back, with more than 90% of malaria prevention campaigns moving forward in 2020 without major delay, but the rapid spread of COVID-19 this year has further threatened to disrupt malaria progress. The World Health Organisation is warning that disruption to malaria diagnosis and treatment caused by COVID-19 could lead to thousands of additional deaths.

Looking Towards a Malaria-Free Future: 

  • Experts convened by the World Health Organisation (WHO) agree that malaria eradication is likely to save millions of lives and billions of dollars.  
  • In 2019 The Lancet Commission on malaria eradication – made up of leading scientists from around the world – found that if we focus efforts on strengthening leadership, increasing investment, prioritising research and innovation, including the development of new tools, and implementing smart, data driven programmes, ending malaria is possible within a generation. Decisions made now by global political leaders – backed by strong public support - will determine this trajectory. 
  • Already, more countries than ever are within reach of elimination, with Algeria and Argentina both certified malaria-free in 2019, but every country should be able to reap the benefits of zero malaria. We must act now to create a fairer future that leaves no one behind.  

About global action to eliminate malaria: 

  • In 2018, global investment and action saved almost 600,000 lives and prevented almost 100 million malaria cases compared to 2000. Despite these gains, malaria cases and deaths remain unacceptably high and concentrated in 19 countries. 
  • In the last two years leaders across the world renewed their commitment and united to fight against malaria: 
  • In April 2018 53 Heads of Government committed to halve malaria in the Commonwealth by 2023. 
  • Governments, science, and the private sector added their support pledging $4.1 billion to accelerate research and development of new tools for the malaria fight and expand access to life-saving tools. 
  • In July 2018, 55 leaders of the African Union launched the pan-African Zero Malaria Starts with Me movement, co-led by the RBM Partnership to End Malaria and the African Union Commission empowering communities to take greater action to accelerate malaria elimination across Africa. 
  • In just over a year 10 countries have unveiled campaigns and more than 20 countries – including malaria-affected countries beyond Africa such as India – are getting ready to step up the fight. 
  • In October 2019, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the leading source of malaria funding globally, was successfully replenished with $14bn.  

Key Statistics: 

  • Despite enormous progress, nearly half the world is still at risk from malaria, which killed 409,000 people in 2020 —almost two thirds are children under five. 
  • Africa carries the greatest malaria burden in the world, with 94% of all cases and deaths. 
  • A child dies from malaria every two minutes – 700 children a day.  
  • six countries account for over 50% of malaria deaths. Nigeria (23%), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (11%), United Republic of Tanzania (5%), Burkina Faso (4%), Mozambique (4%) and Niger (4%). 
  • Women and children are disproportionately affected by malaria: 2/3 of all malaria deaths are children under five, and 1 in 3 pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa suffers from malaria. 
  • Africa has the fastest growing youth population in the world – at a time when young people are facing unpreceded challenges from COVID-19, malaria steals time, work, salaries, education, and futures. 
  • We know ending malaria is possible. Sustained global efforts over the last two decades have saved over seven million lives and prevented more than 1.5 billion cases. Half the world is malaria-free and at the start of 2020, pre COVID-19 malaria deaths were at the lowest point ever. 
  • Since 2000, 21 countries reported zero indigenous malaria cases for three consecutive years. In Africa this includes Morocco (2010) and Algeria (2019).