The digital live performance, which will probably be held on Africa Day (Might 25), is about to be a pan-African occasion, with artists acting on a number of levels from Lagos to Johannesburg in an occasion that will probably be streamed to a world viewers on YouTube and broadcast throughout MTV channels.
Performers embody South Africa’s Elaine, one of many continent’s most-streamed artists, who will carry out new music on the live performance, rapper Focalistic and rap duo Blaq Diamond. Nigerian artists performing embody “Case” hitmaker Teni, Afrobeat star Bella Shmurda and Omah Lay.
Becoming a member of them are Ghanaian singer Gyakie in addition to Suspect 95 from the Ivory Coast. Kenya’s Bahati and Tanzania’s Zuchu are additionally set to carry out.
Whereas the 2020 live performance was a profit occasion with proceeds going to lift funds for these impacted by COVID-19, this yr’s occasion is designed to reconnect tens of millions of remoted Africans. Elba is the face of the occasion and describes his position as being a “connective tissue.”
“Africa Day is actually a recognition of a continent with a deep historical past and an unbelievable future. So basically the messaging is about, hey, let’s work out strategy to have fun, even at midnight occasions,” Elba tells Selection. “There’s been an actual spike in leisure and streaming and music, primarily based on folks being at house much more. So basically it is a funnel for all issues African and leisure and the message can be ‘let’s discover a strategy to now look on the intense aspect.’ We’ve our well being and fortunately we’re alive and we’ve bought issues to have fun.”
Elba examined constructive for COVID-19 in 2020 and has made a full restoration since. One of many messages for the 2021 live performance is to remember that the pandemic remains to be prevalent in lots of nations and, in lots of, has gotten worse than earlier than. Elba is distressed on the “conundrum” in a number of densely populated nations the place it’s unattainable for individuals who must social distance to take action.
“The messaging from us at Africa Day is, on the very least, simply remember that the pandemic remains to be alive, attempt to be secure and attempt to keep alive,” says Elba.
Talking in regards to the illustration of Africa in movie and TV, Elba says, “A part of having an Africa Day celebration is to alter the narrative. We’ve to alter the narrative of what has come earlier than us. There’s been clearly many various kinds of illustration of Africa and most of it damaging, however we’re in the end at a junction the place I’ve YouTube, I’ve MTV, we’ve got inventive thinkers, we’re telling the story of a day that celebrates me.”
“We’re not wanting on the previous, we’re wanting on the future and the narrative is now in charge of us,” Elba provides. “I actually really feel that that is a part of a giant motion.”
“Africa may be very thrilling,” Elba continues. “Rising economic system, rising inhabitants, unbelievable thinkers and innovators. And the narrative must be pumped on the market that having having moments like this is likely one of the methods to have the ability to present folks Africa in a manner that basically is contradictory to the narrative within the mainstream.”
Elba, additionally a producer, is main by instance. Of Ghana and Sierra Leone heritage, and born in London, the initiatives he produces typically replicate that. For instance, “Within the Lengthy Run,” the TV sequence produced by Elba’s Inexperienced Door Footage, follows a London household whose lives are disrupted when a relative from Sierra Leone strikes in.
“I’ve been making tv and movie with Africa within the forefront for over 10 years and in many various guises and movies,” says Elba. “I’m persevering with on that journey. The Africa Day live performance is certainly a tentacle of that narrative. I consider I’ve been planting the seed and pushing the narrative for Africa for a really very long time. And I’m going to proceed doing that.”