As part of the global celebration to commemorate the achievement of Africans and the contributions of the African continent to the world, yesterday May 25th which was a day set aside for this particular celebration, was marked by entertainment television channel ‘MTV Base Africa’ with a virtual concert dubbed ‘Africa Day Benefit Concert’ 2020. There were online performances by various popular African musicians from different parts of the continent. But, the truly unique act that was on a lot of comments by viewers on online streaming platform YouTube, was Ghana’s Reggae Dancehall and Afropop act ‘Stonebwoy’ who passionately sang his 2020 release ‘Strength and Hope’. The lyrics of the song were hailed by a lot of viewers as the only appropriate song for the occasion; as a lot of the other musicians sang songs about women, romance and subjects which may have seemed to be deviations from the overall cause of occasion.
Looking at the purpose of celebrating the African continent especially on ‘Africa Day’, one may think that attention should be given to issues or matters that focus on the greatness of the continent or matters that need to be attended to in order to continue the growth and progress of the continent. So, a lot of viewers of the MTV Base Africa ‘Africa Day Benefit Concert’ 2020 may have been disappointed with most of the song choices of some of the performers. Comments from online viewers on YouTube, the official online streaming platform for the concert, showed a lot of appreciation for Ghanaian musician Stonebwoy’s song ‘Strength and Hope’. One comment read, “finally, someone is singing an appropriate song for the occasion”. Some viewers began posting the hashtag ‘strength and hope’ as a show of their appreciation for the song.
There were other interesting moments which excited the viewers and ranked top notch among visual presentations namely Diamond Platnumz from Tanzania and Nasty C from South Africa. Both showcased more than just the inside of a studio with instruments as was cliche with virtual concerts, but brought a more lively and engaging presentation with well coordinated camera movements capturing timely shots, and in the case of Diamond Platnumz, revealed the beautiful scenery of affluent Tanzania.
The 2 hours 30 minutes fundraiser initiative sought to generate financial support for children and families in Sub – Saharan Africa who were victims of the Coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, all proceeds raised through the campaign would be donated in full to the United Nations World Food Programme and UNICEF. The campaign has a target of $1,000,000 within 30 days of which almost $12,000 have been realised on the first day making that 1.2% of the targeted amount.
By Jerry Wonder