Toto's "Africa" plays on repeat in the middle of the Namib Desert... indefinitely

Originally published at:


Those solar batteries are gonna wear out in 10 years.

I thought “forever” might mean a thousand or two years. Maybe build a wind powered whistling thing.


Not sure about the rains down in Africa - maybe this would have been better somewhere, I dunno, wetter? - but for sure the blowing sand there will yield a lifespan that is definite. I predict they’re buried in under 5 years.


Or the dunes will bury it, or the speaker surrounds rot.


If the word “indefinitely” means “undefined time” then yeah, those speakers are going to be buried pretty fast, and I can’t imagine how long the solar batteries are going to hold up in extreme heat. The cables are all exposed to UV too. One good sandstorm/windstorm and the show is over.

I wonder if the artist has considered how she is introducing heavy metals into an environment that would be far better off without them. This art concept is poorly thought out.

Highest use: some nomad shows up to reuse the rig for a higher purpose.

Damper certainly, here, with water (incredibly, given all the electric microphones and lighting) involved:


What if it rains down in Africa?


Hot take; this is a bad song with like one good part.


If I went to the dessert and heard this shit, I would destroy that installation. Can we be free anywhere from someone else’s music? It sucks at the mall. It’s absurd in the desert.

Can’t I have just one public campground camping trip where I can hear nature without someone else blasting, “Sweet Home Alabama?”


In an American desert, someone would use it for “target practice” before the week was out.

And I don’t think I’d have a problem with that, especially if they removed the litter afterwards.



(more words to reach minimum post limit, but really it’s taking away from the succintness of my reaction and complete lack of faith in my fellow americans, especially those likely to shoot at a public installation, however distasteful they may find it)

PS: it occurs to me that I may be falling for survivor bias, in that those case where an public object is violently destroyed but the litter removed do not leave traces to be noticed and remembered for. Nevertheless, I request proof that such events happen (and I’m not talking about planned demolition)

Damnit BBS your trick worked.


I really like this song in small doses. If I were scanning the radio and it came on I wouldn’t change the station.

This being said, the recent internet fetishization of it is really getting on my nerves.


Because CLAUDE RAINS in Morocco. Get it???


Needs a wide shot with faint audio coming from tiny dots in the distance.


The good part starts at 0:00 and ends at 3:55.

Hurry boy, it’s waiting there for you.



Toto’s “Africa” is the story of a white Canadian kid dreaming about Africa, having never been there, having no direct knowledge of it, and being stuck in the snow.

Putting it in Africa is brain-frissoningly stupid. It’s like painting some french toast and french fries the colours of the French flag, and then waiting for the applause.

If you force people to listen to “Africa” in Africa, you’re pushing a trite (but still a little catchy) bit of White orientalism over actual Africa. Did the artist also dress up as Tarzan on the flight over?

If the artist wanted to do something interesting, they could have made it play on an infinite loop at an outdoor bus-stop in Hamilton, or Moose Jaw, or somewhere else mostly cold and not-Africa.

Maybe his next installation can be a loop of Speedy Gonzalez cartoons in Mexico City?


This sounds a bit like shithole country Africans-live-in-huts rhetoric. I’m sure you didn’t mean it that way.


I did not mean it that way and thanks for giving me the benefit of a doubt.

The rig / art project as it is pictured FTA is better gear that I have at home. If I were walking by as regular ol’ me, I’d be tempted to take the lot with me.

The amount of foisting that the so-called “developed” nations do on everyone else and everywhere else really bothers me. Call me a enviro-curmudgeon and a killjoy. The presumption, the privilege, and IMO the proliferation of e-waste yet again

(not limited to the African continent but in the interest of staying on topic)

… only sounds palatable to me if someone anyone would please get some real use out of the gear in the desert. Real use. If one of the definitions of art includes no obvious utility, I guess this qualifies as art…


I’m glad to see I’m not the only one that feels this way.


Yeh, the street desert finds its own use for things in 3, 2, 1…

1 Like

It’s also derivative as heck, but I guess that’s a given.