Twenty of Africa’s most popular musicians are collaborating this week in Johannesburg on a video aimed at pushing African leaders to modernize agriculture and make it more profitable for those who earn a living off the land, according to ArtsLink.
Considered the largest music video collaboration on the continent, the ONE Campaign project brings together popular urban music stars with the project slogan, “Do Agric, It Pays.”
Participating artists include D’banj (Nigeria), Buffalo Souljah (Zimbabwe), Judith Sephuma
(South Africa), Vusi Nova (South Africa), Liz Ogumbu (Kenya), Nancy G (Swaziland), Dama Do Bing (Mozambique), Diamond (Tanzania), Femi Kuti (Nigeria), Rachid Taha (Algeria), Juliani (Kenya), Omawumi (Nigeria), Tiken Jah Fakoly (Cote d’Ivoire), Fally Ipupa (DRC), Kunle Ayo (Nigeria), Krotal (Cameroon), Victoria Kimani (Kenya), Mo Molemi (South Africa), Ambwene Allen Yessayah (Tanzania), and Dontom (Nigeria).
The music video, entitled “Cocoa na Chocolate,” is scheduled for release in March by ONE.
The production is a collaboration between Cobhams Asuquo and DeeVee of DB Records. Asuquo of “Jailer” and “Fire on the Mountain” fame is the executive producer. Godfather Productions has produced Africa’s top hits and is directing the music video, ArtsLink reports.
The video pressures political leaders to invest in Africa’s farmers, food and future by adopting smart, effective policies aimed at boosting productivity, increasing
incomes and helping lift tens of millions of Africans out of extreme poverty, said ONE
Africa Director Sipho S. Moyo as he welcomed artists to South Africa.
Agricultural growth is 11-times more effective at reducing poverty than growth in other
sectors including mining, Moyo said, citing data from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
“This campaign seeks to change the face of agriculture from low-profit, traditional
agriculture, to a high-tech and high value-chain industry,” Moyo said. “This brilliant team of African artists is helping to spread this message, particularly to our youth using their social media platforms. Seen as role models and being connected to the youth, these artists represent a powerful influence when it comes to highlighting and addressing the issues shaping the future of our youth.”
Africa’s biggest music stars have one purpose in Johannesburg: to make agriculture
desirable and trendy, and they are using their voices to inspire action, Moyo added.
Nigerian superstar D’banj is leading the other artists on the project.
“When we were young, the farm was where your parents sent you when you behaved badly,” D’banj said. “Today, we have seen that agriculture is actually a cool thing that can bring our youth the jobs they need.
“The richest dude in Africa is a farmer who invests in agri-business: Dangote. We are coming together to tell African youth that agriculture is that thing you see when you switch on MTV, Channel O, Trace. Agriculture is what we need to escape poverty and create business empires. Doing agriculture pays, for individuals and nations.”
In an effort to make sure the Year of Agriculture is not just an empty slogan, artists are
asking fans to take action and make sure leaders commit to invest 10 percent of their
budgets in agriculture, ArtsLink reports.
“Agriculture is potentially the single most important source of inclusive growth in Africa,
and it deserves the attention of our leaders as well,” Moyo said. “These artists are collaborating to communicate to their fans, the youth, that agriculture is the biggest prospect for economic development and job creation.”
ONE’s “Do Agric, It Pays” campaign was launched Jan. 29 in Addis Ababa. Sponsors include the Pan African Farmers Association, ActionAid International, Acord International, Oxfam, East and Southern African Farmers Forum, ROPPA, Southern African Confederation of Agriculture Unions, the Africa Union Commission, Becho Welisho and the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa.
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