Here’s everything that went down at the Africa Day Benefit Concert At Home hosted by Hollywood star, Idris Elba.
Yesterday, Africa celebrated Africa Day as one continent. The day, May 25th is recognized and celebrated as the day Africa became free from colonization 57 years ago (1963). Everyone who knows a thing or two about the history of Africa’s freedom as a continent celebrated it in style.
Although, the entire continent has been restricted to the comfort of their homes, it still didn’t keep us from having a little fun. A few weeks back, the Africa Day Benefit concert At Home to be hosted by Idris Elba was announced and many anticipated it. The concert aimed at raising funds to help Children and families all over Africa affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. All funds raised will be donated to the United Nations’ World Food Programme and The UNICEF.
The 2-and-a-half hour virtual concert happened yesterday, 25th May 2020, and we must say, it was absolutely divine. It featured performances, and cameos from some of the continent’s biggest names in music and entertainment from various countries. Performers included Adekunle Gold, AKA, Afro B, Angelique Kidjo, Busiswa, Davido, C4 Pedro, Burna Boy, Diamond Platnumz, DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small, Nasty C, Nandy, Rema, Ismaël Lô Niniola, Teni, Toofan, Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, and more.
There were also appearances from Anthony Hamilton, Spike Lee, Omari Hardwick, Falz, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Toke Makinwa, Pearl Thusi, Trevor Noah, Bonang Matheba, Boity, Chloe & Halle, and more.
The show kicked off exactly when it was supposed to with an opening address from the South African President, and Chair of the African Union, Cyril Ramaphosa. He spoke about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and stated that it would affect the poor countries the most.
He also stated that we must do what we can to help out while commending the artists for taking time off their busy schedule to perform for the cause. According to him, the effects of the pandemic will stay with us for a really long time, and we will have to adapt to the new world. He stated clearly that this has shown us that a new world is possible.
His touching speech was followed by an opening performance by Nigerian popstar, Davido who performed with a live band. His song spoke about being resilient inspite of what people do to you (or him).
His performance was followed by an appearance from Tanzanian singer, Vanessa Mdee and her boyfriend, actor and singer, Rotimi. She and a couple others described Africa in a few words. Words like beautiful, influential, Freedom, future, tasty, mighty natural, rich, vibrant, and now were used to describe the continent.
After that happened, vibrant Queen Sono star, Pearl Thusi showed up to introduce the rave of the moment, Sho Madjozi. Madjozi put on a great show as she performed a medley of two hits, Kona and John Cena. There was a lot of dancing as she showed off her amazing heritage which was divine. Fally Ipupa followed with a performance of Canne A Surce. Awesome as always.
Then, Kenya’s very own Sauti Sol took the floor as they delivered their hit song “Insecure”. You could definitely live in that moment forever. Nigerian singer Teni, followed suit with a stripped down performance of her massive hit “Uyo Meyo” which was followed by an appearance from Dance Hall legend, Sean Paul.
The artist spotlight showcased French-Cameroonian singer and producer, James BKS who delivered a performance of his song with friends. Rita Ora showed up, and later on, Timi Dakolo sang “There’s A Cry” as Cobhams Asuquo played the piano.
All through the show, host, Idris Elba showed up every now and then, to drop a few words about the purpose of unity in Africa, and also introduce performing artists. Ghanaian rapper, M.anifest was an absolute stunner as he delivered a performance of “The Gamble” which led to a cameo from Jidenna. He spoke about being African, not because he was born there but because it was born in him. That’s just profound.
Then came, girl power as Niniola and Busiswa united Nigeria and South Africa with a performance of “Magun Remix”. Miss Universe, Zozibini Tunzi urged Africans to keep safe and healthy, and listen to world health leaders. Angelique Kidjo’s delivery of her hit “Wombo Lombo” brought back memories, and actress, Adesua Etomi-Wellington made an impression delivering Mandela’s Long Walk To Freedom speech.
Performances by Ndlovu Youth Choir, Bebe Cool, Tiwa Savage, Shadow Boxer, Salif Keita, AKA, Reekado Banks and Frederic Gassita also stood out. Satirist, Lesego Tlhabi adviced peeps on what not to say during a trip to Africa, while Masai Ujiri, President of Operations Toronto Raptors donated $10K to the cause. Nathi Mthethwa, South Africa’s Minister of Arts, Sports & Culture spoke on the day being about celebrating the unity of the continent. There were also appearances from Fat Joe, Omari Hardwick, Orlando jones and Spike Lee.
It got funny when YouTube star, Mark Angel showed up to talk about how unity makes the continent stronger. After him, Tanzania’s Nandy showed up to perform “Kivuruge”, while Ghanaian star, Stonebwoy performed “Strength & Hope”. Following performers included Wavy Boy Smith, Drizilik, Yemi Alade, Afro B, Seun Kuti & The Egypt 80 band, Ismael Lo, and Nasty C who was introduced by Chloe & Halle.
There were also appearances from Tunde Folasiyo (Global Citizen Nigeria Chairman), Shuga star, Jemima Osunde, Boris Kodjo, Yvonne Orji, Toke Makinwa, Anthony Hamilton, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Not3s, and Masego.
President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame thanked the viewers and said the day symbolizes the unity of purpose, and the proud heritage of the African people wherever they may be.
The last two performers were Tanzanian popstar, Diamond Platnumz who gave a tour of his house as he performed “Jeje”, and Burna Boy. Burna was introduced by the Today Show host, Trevor Noah after which he performed “Collateral Damage” off the Grammy-nominated African Giant album.
The Live concert was supported by media partners YFM, 947, KFM, Beat FM, Hot FM, Cool FM, and Wazobia FM. It was broadcast Live on YouTube and MTV Base. You can still donate to the cause as donations as still accepted here.