A Youtube video for a song, “Kenya,” is making the rounds. What’s Kenya got to do with all of this, was our second question. Our first question was, “What is this?” The answer to the latter is Music for RAIN (Replenish Africa Initiative), a Coca Cola-backed project described as the “music community’s response to the problem of access to water in Africa.” By the music community, they mean Solange Knowles, Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear and Twin Shadow. As you can probably guess, our third question was “Who?” No matter, for this is Africa.
The PR reads further, “… RAIN brings together business, local government, NGO’s and committed individuals to tackle the problem of access to water and sanitation in Africa. All proceeds from ‘Kenya,’ will be used to provide clean water and sanitation resources to Africa’s most needy. Whether that’s providing loos in Rwanda, rain harvesting roofs in Uganda or carrying containers in the Cameroon.”
Which bring us back to our first question.
Beyond its title, and the smiling, nameless Kenyans used as props in the video, what does this song actually have to do with Kenya? Solange’s “ethnic” print skirt also does not count. Still don’t have an answer? Neither do we. But, per this “making of” video—for which the only positive comment we can make is that it is somewhat unfortunate—the song is meant to “inspire hope,” which, apparently, is in short supply in Africa. As Taylor states quite simply, “there are so many countries in Africa with the same problem.” (Oh. Really?) Just as simple, it seems, is the solution.
Now, while some of us are fans of Ms. Knowles, as well as Chris Taylor’s other project, Grizzly Bear, we’re not so impressed with this. Neither is the general public. At last check, the initiative had raised less than $1,000 of its $10,000 goal. Perhaps next time, Solange should consult with her brother-in-law, who did his part to solve Africa’s water problem a few years ago.