by Katlego Nkosi
The coming together of African entertainers not only to entertain but also make a difference during this time of need.
[Caption: The Africa Day Benefit Concert aimed to raise funds towards feeding and providing health assistance to families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa (Photo source: DstvAfrica.com)]
As the month of May wrapped up, the last push of events commemorating Africa Month took place in the final week of the month. The Africa Day Benefit Concert At Home supported by the African Union took place on Africa Day, Monday 25 May and was broadcast on YouTube, MTV Base and BET.
The purpose of this event was, while entertaining and promoting social distancing, to raise funds towards food and health assistance for families that have been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa through Unicef and the United Nations World Food Programme.
As music has a way of connecting and uniting people from different backgrounds, this proved to be a great initiative to work towards making a positive change and impact.
The two-hour-long show, hosted by actor and DJ Idris Elba included a star-studded line up of artists from all corners of the continent with each artist performing one song from the comfort of their own home. From the legendary South African group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, to the elegance and fierceness of Nigerian superstar Tiwa Savage and the hip and happening Amapiano sounds that the duo of Maphorisa and Kabza de Small provided, this was definitely a concert packed with variety and flavour.
Global Afrobeats superstar, Davido, also pulled off an amazing performance, while Sho Madjozi came through with her high energy performance. The stunning ladies Niniola and Yemi Alade graced us with their amazing voices too. Much loved South African rappers AKA and Nasty C were there to cater for the rap fans as well. This was truly a representation of the variety of cultures, genres and sounds that Africa homes. With this diversity, every single viewer, young or old and from any African country, was definitely catered for.
[Caption: AKA performed his hit song, Jika, in the comfort of his backyard (Photo source: instagram.com/akaworldwide)]
Although this was a music event, a few other famous faces outside of music appeared to offer words of support, unity, guidance and a few laughs. These included The Daily Show host and comedian Trevor Noah, Nigerian actress Dr Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, South African comediennes Tumi Morake and Coconut Kelz and our very own Miss Universe, Zozibini Tunzi.
Appearances were not only limited to African stars but included celebrity friends from the diaspora such as Ludacris, Jidenna and Anthony Hamilton who all had a few inspirational and comforting words to share with us.
The concert is currently sitting on 518 904 views and also sits on position 28 on the YouTube trending list (at time of publishing) which is not as high as anticipated. With the line up being as star-studded as it was, it’s a pretty low number of views. Considering the struggle for internet access and the price of data in many African countries including South Africa, this number is not that surprising.
Ultimately, this concert served as a wonderful way to celebrate Africans and Africa the best way we know how - through song.
The celebration of a variety of genres and artists young and old on the continent was great to see. Although created as a fun way to raise funds for those affected by the pandemic on the continent, this could be the start of an annual Africa Day Concert. This concert can and should be continued next year (hopefully live in person) and could easily grow into an annual Africa Day festival which raises funds for different needs in Africa.