America-born Senegalese artiste, Akon, real name Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam, says he fully credits successes in his musical career to Africa and to Africans.
The musician, songwriter and actor who sings R&B, hip hop and soul started off his show business career with a 2004 debut album ‘Trouble’ is popular across the continent not only for his music but also his humanitarian and lightning project.
He was speaking to American broadcaster, CNN’s Africa service, when he made the disclosure about how crucial the continent was to his success. He says he always felt like a star when in Africa and said he could bet his last dollar on the continent’s support.
I think as an African walking the world and seeing where I have started to where I am today, I want to be a token of proudness for any African to show that this is possible.
A transcription of the one-minute eleven seconds video follows:
‘‘I’m really proud because Africans, if you look at the history of things that Africans have endured just by default, it just shows the strength and I think as an African walking the world and seeing where I have started to where I am today, I want to be a token of proudness for any African to show that this is possible.
‘‘To show that with proper support … because even my music career, I always give Africa the credit for the success because when I first came out with my first single, I didn’t get any support, you know, it was Africans going ‘Oh yes, he’s African, he’s Akon, I’m telling you, he is for us and we are proud’.
‘‘And you know, no matter where i go till this day, it’s always a ‘Coming to America moment when there are Africans there, so you can feel the pride.
‘‘I mean … I smile when i talk about this because it gets to the point where if i never sell a record, anywhere in the world, I know I’ll always feel like a star in Africa. Because they make me feel like one,’‘ he concluded.