“It’s OK to not be OK,” says Cliff Zammit Stevens to a visibly emotional crowd. Almost one year on from his mother Marcelline’s death, the famed local tenor teamed up with cousin Martina Borg Stevens and aunt Estelle Borg to create The Marcy Foundation in her honour.
The Foundation, launched yesterday at the Intercontinental Hotel’s Skybeach Lounge, will focus on its so-called ‘Five Pillars’, tackling issues including mental health, domestic violence, child abuse, drug and substance abuse, and living with HIV. One pillar per year will be the main focus of the Foundation; domestic violence will be the first topic to be addressed, a symbolic ode to Zammit Steven’s mother, herself a victim of such abuse.
“Myself, my family and other people who are very close to me have had experiences in all these areas, so these causes are very much close to my heart,” said Zammit Stevens. “Unfortunately, people who go through these issues face daily struggles due to the stigma associated with them […] they might be embarrassed or scared to speak out about them, out of fear of being judged instead of seeking the help which they deserve.”
Through its online platform, the Foundation aims to help individuals experiencing any of the Five Pillars to access information, updates on individual rights, and seek help, as well as serve as an education resource.
New single with Ira Losco to raise funds for the Foundation
At the event, Zammit Stevens also launched his new single, a reimagining of the classic song Xemx, featuring vocals by Ira Losco. “Xemx is timeless and was one of my Mum’s favourite songs,” he said. “All proceeds will go towards The Marcy Foundation and so I encourage everyone to buy the single to support both local talent and a heartfelt Foundation.”
We also got a quick sneak-peek into the new Xemx music video, featuring a handful of local celebrities, in an allegory to each of The Marcy Foundation’s Five Pillars.
In addition, the Marcy Foundation will receive funds from Cliff Zammit Stevens’ 10th anniversary concert in Malta
The concert, taking place on the 3rd of October in Valletta’s St. George’s Square, plans to be Zammit Stevens’ biggest solo concert to-date. Ira Losco will be by his side as a special guest on the night, and the two are currently working together in the run up to the event.
Bookings for Cliff Zammit Steven’s 10th anniversary concert open on 24th August; tickets will be available to purchase at www.showshappening.com