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Grammy-Winner Akon Stops by VOA to Talk Music and Light in Africa

Akon with hosts Anasthasie Tudieshe and Roger Muntu (R)
Akon with hosts Anasthasie Tudieshe and Roger Muntu (R)

Grammy-winner R&B artist Akon is certainly a man of many titles. The rapper, songwriter, businessman, record producer, and actor visited VOA recently for an interview with the French-to-Africa service.

The music mogul stopped by VOA French’s program, Vous et Nous, hosted by Roger Muntu and Anasthasie Tudieshe to discuss his fourth album, “Stadium Music”, and a subject that hits home, the lack of electricity in Africa.

In the rural areas of the continent, tens of millions live without access to electricity and many die each year from toxic fumes or house fires caused by their efforts to light their homes. Having spent much of his childhood in the West African country of Senegal, living without power is a vivid memory for the US-based rap star. Using his platform, Akon decided to take action. In 2014, he collaborated with entrepreneur Samba Bathily and community leader Thione Niang to launch “Akon Lighting Africa,” an initiative that aims to bring electricity to millions of households in Africa using solar energy.

“This interview was very important, especially for young African entrepreneurs. Already in 16 countries, and with aims to be in 25 countries this year, ‘Akon Lighting Africa’ is off to an inspiring start. Akon also delivered words of encouragement and wisdom for our African viewers, so we were particularly proud of this interview,” said co-host Roger Muntu.

Vous et Nous is a fast-paced, 30-minute TV program featuring young people in Africa and the US who are making positive differences in their lives and in their communities, working in fields from pop culture, education, and health to technology, music, and fashion. Each week, co-hosts Roger Muntu and Anasthasie Tudieshe spotlight entrepreneurs and trendsetters for broadcast affiliates in Ivory Coast, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Senegal, and elsewhere.

Watch the interview in English here.