In celebration of Africa Day, here's a compilation of songs inspired by this magnificent continent.
Africa - Toto
This is the band’s most popular song (it reached number one the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1983) and was written by songwriter and vocalist David Paich after he watched a documentary about the continent, which he said both moved and appalled him. Though the song mostly deals with the love of a man for a woman, Paich has indicated that it’s more about the love of the continent than romantic love.
Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes - Paul Simon
Released as one of the lead singles off Paul Simon’s acclaimed but controversialGraceland, Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes features Ladysmith Black Mambazo singing about the strength of women in Zulu. Simon had come to work with South African musicians in the mid-80s after listening to a bootleg cassette of South African music. The move was considered controversial as the country was under a cultural boycott at the time.
Jain – Makeba
The French-born and Africa-raised Jain pays tribute to Mama Africa, Miriam Makeba in this catchy tune. Hailed as one of her heroes, Jain sings the praises of a woman she regarded as “a strong woman and… an incredible performer”. Jain filmed the visually striking music video in Johannesburg.
Solange – Losing You
Okay, so while the song itself doesn’t have anything to do with Africa, Solange’s Losing You video was shot in Cape Town. Solange had planned to come to the country for her cover shoot with Elle SA and decided to film the video in Langa. Solange will be making her return to the country in December so you might as well start singing her tunes now.