Songwriter, rapper, producer, and social activist, Akon has taken on the task of giving electricity to over six hundred million Africans. In a new project called Akon Lighting Africa, the Grammy award winning rapper partnered with the African based solar energy and water treatment company, Solektra International, and China Jiangsu International to create a solar academy which will give Africans the knowledge to install and maintain solar-powered electricity systems and micro grids to continually produce electricity. The academy hopes to bank on the fact that the continent stays sunny for more than three hundred days each year. Akon Lighting Africa co-founder Thione Niang states, “We expect the Africans who graduate from this center to devise new, innovative, technical solutions. With this academy, we can capitalize on Akon Lighting Africa and go further,” which will in turn “boost the economy, provide opportunities to future generations and just flat-out increase the overall quality of life.” Co-founder Samantha Bathily added: “We are doing more than just investing in clean energy. We are investing in human capital. We can achieve great milestones and accelerate the African transformation process on condition that we start training a new generation of highly qualified African engineers, technicians and entrepreneurs now.”
This isn’t the first time the Senegal born artist has found a way to help the people of Africa; founded in 2007, the Konfidence Foundation aims to help youth in both West Africa and the United States by supporting families living in poverty as well as promoting health and education. Akon also owns a diamond mine in South Africa from which he donates profits to local communities.
It was Akon’s 2004 debut album, Trouble, that put him on the map. Spawning such hits as “Lonely,” “Belly Dancer (Bananza),” and “Locked up,” the album went on to chart at number eighteen on Billboard 200. “Lonely” reached number one in several countries and became Akon’s first worldwide hit, as well as reaching the top five on Billboard Hot 100. He went on to follow up Trouble with Konvicted, which sold over a million copies in less than two months. The album went on to be certified triple platinum and spent twenty-eight consecutive weeks on Billboard 200, peaking at number two, four different times. Since then, Akon has had has more than thirty Billboard Hot 100 songs and has went on to make over three hundred guest appearances including those with Gwen Stefani, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, David Guetta, and PItbull.
FDRMX Eyes: Atome Primitif’s video for their song “Silver House” is a simple animated short set primarily in black and white. The video opens to a girl staring out her room window on a rainy day. Check the video out here: