Irish rock star, Bono, the brains behind the organisation, ONE, has brought together 19 of Africa’s finest for the Do Agric campaign.
These artists are using their voices to inspire young people to join ONE.org, and tell political leaders ahead of the African Union summit in June that the time has come to adopt better agricultural policies that will help tackle youth unemployment, provide better support to small holder farmers, boost productivity, increase value chains, and help lift millions of Africans out of extreme poverty.
The stars selected for the campaign song dubbed ‘Cocoa na Chocolate’ are A.Y. (Tanzania), Bufallo Souljah (Zimbabwe), Dama Do Bling (Mozambique), D’Banj (Nigeria), Diamond (Tanzania), Dontom (Nigeria), Fally Ipupa (DRC), Femi Kuti (Nigeria), Judith Sephuma (South Africa), Juliani (Kenya), Kunle Ayo (Nigeria), Vusi Nova (South Africa), Liz Ogumbo (Kenya), Nancy G (Swaziland), Omawumi (Nigeria), Rachid Taha (Algeria), Tiken Jah Fakoly (Cote d’Ivoire), Victoria Kimani (Kenya) and Wax Dey (Cameroon).
D’Banj said, “As African musicians, agriculture is the single most important cause we could champion together and I am proud to say we are doing it with ONE voice. Here in Nigeria alone, while 70% of Nigerians depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, the federal agriculture budget has been trending downwards, and is now at just 1.47%. This is a serious concern, especially because Nigeria spends billions of Naira importing food every year.”
Femi Kuti added his voice too. “I think this is the most important project I’ve done in my life because agriculture for me is the most important thing for human beings, so I’m very proud to be part of this and I hope it’s going to be successful. I think our lives, everything, our future depends on this, so I think we all need to put all our resources, all our energy into this to make it a success.”
Lingala hearthrob, Fally Ipupa also highlighted the importance of farming. “It is a very important project. It is important for us to tell the African youth to grow hectares so we can have good and organic food. And so we can maybe one day export, pondu, saka saka and other African dishes the same way we export music.”
Kenyan designer and singer based in Johannesburg summarized the importance of farming saying, “I really believe that if we spend more time reaping in our backyards, farming, and putting our resources together to allow the farming side to happen, then we are going to be saving a lot and build the economy.”
She continued, “As a fashion designer I want to wear my blue jeans and make sure that I can be able to get it from my garden – If I can grow that cotton in the village and then come to the city and use that same cotton to manufacture what I’m doing as a fashion designer then I am playing a big role within the economy and that’s what Do Agric is all about.”