Monday, February 1, 2010

Discussing Akon's charity single 'Oh Africa'

When I was notified of Akon's new video, Oh Africa, I was intrigued by the song's name. Oh Africa? What did Africa do again? Is Akon going to lambast us? Shouldn't he be on our side, praising the motherland? Is it a public service announcement? I hope it's a song from his upcoming album. Well, it turns it is a 'charity single' and he does praise Africa in this video. This new video is geared towards the upcoming World Cup in South Africa and he sings "This is our time to shine, our time to fly". It surely is. I don't know why he's hiding the music video he made for Mama Africa. Trust me, I know the video has been shot. I know people who have the video on their computers. I hope the Mama Africa video is finally released this year. Kudos to Akon for 'Oh Africa' and continuing to rep the motherland big!

The video features Akon and Keri Hilson singing 'Oh Africa' with a host of other people. We see a choir dressed in 'some South African apparel', which clearly notes that this video is about South Africa as much as it is about Africa. Later on, we see Didier Drogba and Fernando Torres shooting soccer balls. We surely can't wait for the World Cup, it's going to be a spectacle. We see soccer fans with their faces painted with colours of different nations. The only African countries I remember seeing were Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt (huh! Egypt? angry smile). At the end of the video, we see a painting showing many world soccer stars. The only African amongst them is Didier Drogba. Ivory Coast is tipped as one of the favorites so this makes sense but I wonder if space couldn't be created for Samuel Eto'o and Michael Essien. We shall see :-)

Watch the video here

So the video is a charity single and is recorded for a new Pepsi football TV commercial for the brand's worldwide campaign "Refresh Your World," which is based on enabling youth to make a positive change in the world. 9ice! The song was premiered just before the Grammy's and the proceeds will benefit underprivileged African youth, including Akon’s Konfidence Foundation. It features the Soweto Gospel Choir and 16 young singers from around the world as well. The video is directed by Gil Green, who also directed the 'Mama Africa' video.

My biggest issue with the video/song is - why is Keri Hilson the other singer? I know MissKeriBaby was in South Africa recently and she loved it so she must be 'in love with Africa' now. Still, Akon, this was a chance to showcase Africa and you choose Keri Hilson? Not even say, Estelle, who's also from Senegal? How about Asa, Ayo, Lira, Zamajobe, Becca? They are all from countries going to the World Cup abi? Akon, you no try. Now out of konviction, do a remix, quick. I want the following people in the video - Samini, Lira, Asa, Blick Bassy, Cheb Khaled and Teeyah. In fact, Akon, how about you do an album with a bunch of African artists? Shouldn't be that hard. Just take your collabos with Senegal's Viviane, Nigeria's Shank, Ghana's Sway, do a few more and compile into an EP.

More props to Akon for doing this though. Keep on repping Africa!

Here are the lyrics for Oh Africa by Adel Ali.
I know that we have to take it to the goal ’cause everyone is depending on we
see we ain’t got nowhere to go but, it’s our destiny
we’re choosing nowhere, we’ll do what it takes to get to the top of the highest mountain
we’ll do anything, we got to prove ourselves ’cause we know


see we’ll never be able to forget this day ’cause it’s the greatest day of our life
see no matter what happens at least we can say “we came, we saw, we tried”
we’re choosing nowhere, we’ll do what it takes to get to the top of the highest mountain
we’ll do anything, we got to prove ourselves ’cause we know


This our time to show, our time to fly, our time to be inside the sky
our time to so, our time of song
the last one in football
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