Africa Day symbolises African unity and the work that lies ahead to achieve this maxim. It is also a reminder of the destruction colonial powers meted out on the continent and its people, and the courage of liberation movements who fought the oppressors to achieve independence across the continent.
Music In Africa celebrated Africa Day with a few songs containing the central tenets that define this great day: peace, unity, freedom and love.
“Africa Unite” — Bob Marley
The late Jamaican reggae great Bob Marley was a pan-Africanist who believed in the unity of African people. In the “Africa Unite” song, Marley sings about his dream for Africans to come together and fight oppression.
“We Are One Africa” — Davido, Tiwa Savage, Sarkodie and Lola Rae
Shot in the dusty streets of Nigeria, this video and its song encourage Africans to come together and rise. In the video, Africans are seen as people who have something in common that can unite them — music.
“Africa” — Wiyaala
Shot in Accra, Ghana, the “Africa” video was directed by Stanley Ajjetey. The song talks about the precious minerals found in Africa but bemoans the lack of peace on the continent. “I’m not just talking about wars and terrorism, I’m also talking about hatred and jealousy on a personal level, where we fight as individuals, bear false witness and create enmity between ourselves,” Wiyaala says about this song.
“Africa Inaliya” — Simon Chimbetu
“Africa Inaliya” (loosely translated to “Africa is crying”) talks about the challenges faced by the people on the continent. The late Zimbabwean singer makes reference of cities in such countries Somalia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and the DRC. In the song, Chimbetu prays to God to intervene and bless Africa.
“Africa” — Toto
The song is about a man’s love for the continent, rather than just a personal romance. “Africa” was recorded in 1981 for the Toto IV album. Commenting on the song, Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro said: “A white boy is trying to write a song on Africa, but since he’s never been there, he can only tell what he’s seen on TV or remembers in the past.” The band eventually made it to South Africa in 1997 for a memorable performance, ending their Johannesburg concert with the unforgettable song.
“Africa” — Salif Keita
The “Golden Voice of Africa”, Salif Keita, released this song in 1995 as part of his “Folon” album. Since then the song has become the unofficial anthem of the continent, evoking a sense of pride in Africans for their beautiful continent and the music that comes out of it. — Musicinafrica.net.