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Petter Alexis Askegren, Linnea Henriksson and Kodjo Akolor are the hosts of Musikhjälpen 2014. Photo: Mattias Ahlm/Sveriges Radio

Swedish Music Aid takes on fight against HIV

"We get locked in for six days and do radio/tv around the clock"
7:05 min

For six days in December, as part of the annual charity bonanza Swedish Music Aid, three well-known radio and tv-hosts will be locked up in a glass house on a central square in Uppsala. The task: to raise money for charity.

Out of the three, the stand up comedian and radio/tv-host Kodjo Akolor, is the veteran. This will be the forth year running he is taking part as a host. The other two are rapper Petter and singer Linnea Henriksson.

The tradition is that the hosts are on a liquidised diet during the 144 hours they stay in the glass house. During this period they only have a small space, the size of a bathroom, where they are not in the eye of the public either on tv or on internet.

So how do you prepare, mentally and physically, for a challenge like this?

"I always have a huge meal the day before," says Kodjo Akolor. "A huge breakfast, a huge lunch and a huge dinner. Because I know once we've been locked in, I will look back at that dinner and I'll be like 'that steak was sooo delicious'. So for me, it is a lot of eating before I get locked in."

The money is raised by people getting in touch and requesting a song is played, whilst at the same time making a donation. The money is supposed to go to a "forgotten humanitarian catastophe".

HIV/AIDS was something that everybody was talking about in the 80s and 90s, says Kodjo Akolor, but these days we don't hear much about it.

"We want to bring the focus back to something that is going on today," he says. "Every 15 seconds a person gets infected by AIDS. Every day 4000 people die (from it). It is something that, if we all come together behind it, we can try to make a difference to people who really, truly need that help".

Last year, the theme was "all girls have the right to survive their pregnancy", and Swedish Music Aid (Musikhjälpen) raised SEK 28 million.

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