VIDEO: 19 artists collaborate on ‘Cocoa na Chocolate’

VIDEO: 19 artists collaborate on ‘Cocoa na Chocolate’

This week without a doubt has been one of the most remarkable weeks of my life, and my work at ONE.  A wind of change is blowing over Africa, and it is refreshing to see that Africans are steering its course.

One of the milestones of the Do Agric, It Pays campaign is the song ‘Cocoa na Chocolate’, Africa’s biggest music collaboration. Featuring 19 of Africa’s top recording artists including D’Banj, Femi Kuti, Vusi Nova, Diamond and Tiken Jah Fakoly, it was released this week in Lagos.

Metro FM, South Africa’s biggest national urban radio station was there for the launch, broadcasting out of Nigeria’s Beat FM studios, along with some of the artists and ONE’s Africa team. The synergy and energy emanating from Africa’s biggest talents and media houses was palpable and emotionally overwhelming.

ONE Africa Director Dr Sipho Moyo (centre) with D'Banj (L) and Omawumi (R) at the Metro FM studios.  Photo: ONE

ONE Africa Director Dr Sipho Moyo (C) with D’Banj (L) and Omawumi (R) at the Beat FM studios in Lagos. Photo: ONE

Barely days after the 28th anniversary of the release of ‘USA for Africa: We Are The World’, ‘Cocoa na Chocolate’ evokes a theme that is not unrelated to that of 28 years ago.

The big difference this time around is that it is Africans lending their voice to change the continent. And this time, it’s not about problems but about solutions.

It’s about the potential of agriculture and Africa feeding itself while also helping to feed the world, not about famine relief! They are not asking for help, they are sending out a strong message that Africa’s socio-economic transformation, its industrial revolution, lies right beneath our feet. They’re saying it’s time to rebrand agriculture by investing in it.

In a historic moment that will be remembered by many of us who’ve spent our careers in development as a seismic shift, Bono – one of the greatest leaders of the ‘We Are The World’ generation – phoned in to Metro FM’s Touchdown326 show on Tuesday.  He applauded D’Banj and the other artists who have seized the moment to not only fly Africa’s flag but to claim their destiny.

For me this was a symbolic moment in history. It felt like the mantle was literally being passed on to this generation of young African voices to help change their own continent in positive and enduring ways.

Diamond and Dontom live on air as Metro FM take over the airwaves in Nigeria. Photo: ONE

Diamond and Dontom live on air as Metro FM take over the airwaves in Nigeria. Photo: ONE

Nothing can be more rewarding than a pan-African collaboration of the role models of our time who are not only connected with Africa’s youth but are highly influential in shaping perspectives and mindsets.

I am particularly proud and humbled at once that from North, South, West, East and Central Africa, they have come out to send a powerful message to a new generation.  That it’s time to push African leaders to scale up public investments in agriculture and ensure policy interventions are targeted to benefit smallholder farmers.  These are the people who provide 80% of the food we eat on the continent and yet can barely sustain themselves and their families. That’s twisted!

What a befitting way to commemorate 2014, the AU Year of Agriculture and Food Security! It is our hope at ONE that this will enable the youths to see the cool and profitable factor in agriculture, while we undertake high-level lobbying and work with grassroots organisations continent-wide to bring the voices of small holder farmers to the policy-making table.

Special thanks to DKM Media which partnered with us for this production. Big hugs to all the artists and much love to the production team: DeeVee of BN Records, Fokee, Cobhams Asuquo, and Godfather Production.

Well, enough said. The music video is playing on Soundcity, Channel 0, MTV, TRACE, CANAL France International and several other channels. Enjoy it, share it, tweet it.

And if you haven’t already, sign the Do Agric petition now.

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