Carlos and Deborah Santana spoke with A&U's Dann Dulin about consciousness-raising and raising kids, healing our cultural divides, and zeroing in on AIDS in South Africa.
"Deborah and I both have a serious need to share whatever God, life and people share with us...so for us it's natural to want to share that with the ground zero of AIDS, which is South Africa."
"A lot of people don't want to see the reality of AIDS," says Santana."It takes courage to see yourself in everything and change it."
"It's so great in this country now," Deborah says, "because there are many people who are living with HIV...But in South Africa 1,600 people die every day."
In the summer of 2003, the Santanas announced that all proceeds from Santana's twenty-three city Shaman tour would be donated to Artists for a New South Africa (ANSA) to help battle AIDS. "Join us in spreading a spiritual virus - a masterpiece of joy on this planet," Carlos said last year at a news conference, with Deborah and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu by his side.
This was a landmark event - the first time an artist has ever donated the net proceeds from an extended concert tour to charity. The total revenue generated was $2.5 million, which helped to establish the Amandla AIDS Fund ("amandla" means "empowerment" in several South African languages), an ANSA grantmaking arm that provides urgent and much needed support to frontline AIDS service organizations.