Shakira’s 2010 World Cup song, Zangalewa was such a popular hit because of that catchy line “it’s time for Africa.”
Much as the continent missed out on the trophy, it exhibited the multitude of faith people have in Africa. It also reemphasized other sayings such as “Africa is the future” that have been used before to portray the potential that lies in the continent.
Sadly though, many Africans don’t see this, thus always feeling inferior. It’s upon this background that Africa’s leading pay television, DStv, teamed up with a couple of African stars to embark on a campaign to inspire Africans to believe in themselves and get involved in community-based social uplifting projects.
The campaign, supported by Channel O Africa, was launched last week at the plush Trou Aux Biches spa and hotel in Mauritius. To ensure the message sinks, the campaign attracted some of Africa top stars. Nigeria’s Davido, Tiwa Savage, Lola Rae, Ghana’s Sarkodie, Tanzania’s Diamond and South Africa’s Mi Casa collaborated on a song, Africa rise up, where they poured out their hearts on the things they love about the continent.
Premiering at the event graced by the media from across the continent, the song’s video opening leaves nothing to imagination in relaying the true picture of Africa. It has those narrow streets in the slums, boda boda riders and women carrying merchandise.
Filmed by South Africa’s production house, Callback Dreams, the video comes with it a fresh breathe compared to many of the African videos seen on both Channel O and MTV Base. It’s down to earth and Africans can easily connect to it. It’s interesting listening to Davido mention all the wonderful names of people that have made Africa proud, from Kwame Nkrumah to Lupita Nyongo.
Some journalists, however, observed that the song was more Nigerian than African.
“What did Botswana artistes ever do to you,” questioned one journalist.
That aside, the launch also featured youth engagement hubs, which attracted youths from three regions: southern (Zambia and South Africa), east (Kenya) and west (Ghana and Nigeria), discussing the impact that “Africa rising” can have in communities across Africa. Talking to The Observer after her performance, Tiwa Savage said that she was honored to have been considered for the project.
“This is a very huge project and being part of it out of the many African acts is humbling,” said the Eminado songstress.
Multichoice’s CEO Nico Meyer too noted that it was time Africa was seen in a positive light than it had been portrayed. And that is what the campaign is all about.
“We believe there is so much more to celebrate in and about our continent,” he said.
Well, it is a matter of time to see how much this campaign will be able to achieve.