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Africa by Toto is being played 'for all eternity' in Namib desert

Africa by Toto is being played 'for all eternity' in Namib desert

The iconic 80s tune is being played over and over in the Namibia desert as an unusual tribute

When a group of people start discussing their favourite 80s songs, there's guaranteed to be at least one person in that room who instantly responds with Toto's moving 1982 hit, 'Africa'.

The track featured on Toto's album Toto IV and has been a firm smash hit for the past four decades, resulting in dance floors all across the globe to fill with merry partygoers shouting "It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you!" at the top of their voices.

But, one of the last places you might expect to hear 'Africa' is on a raised platform in the middle of the Namib desert.

Four years ago, Namibian-German artist Max Siedentopf set up a solar-powered sound system at an undisclosed location in the Namib desert, designed to play the beloved track on a loop - echoing around the African desert for all eternity.

dpa picture alliance / Alamy Stock Photo

Talking to the BBC back in 2019 about his choice of location to play the renowned tune, Siedentopf said: "[I] wanted to pay the song the ultimate homage and physically exhibit 'Africa' in Africa. Some [Namibians] love it and some say it's probably the worst sound installation ever. I think that's a great compliment."

The installation includes six speakers sat on top of white plinths placed in a circle, with a seventh plinth located in the centre - home to an MP3 player with one song and one song only. Yep, you guessed it - 'Africa' by Toto.

The Namib desert is over 50 million years old and, due to the solar-powered nature of the sound set-up, Siedentopf hopes the track will continue to play for plenty more years.

Speaking on the design of the musical art piece, Siedentopf said: "Most parts of the installation were chosen to be as durable as possible, but I'm sure the harsh environment of the desert will devour the installation eventually."


Siedentopf has recently revisited the installation, sharing a photo of the project on his Instagram with the caption: "4 years ago the sound installation “Toto Forever” was set up at an undisclosed location in the desert - if you listen closely you can still hear the eternal loop.

"Set in the Namib desert, which is not only the oldest desert in Africa but the world, I set up a sound installation which pays tribute to probably the most popular song of the last four decades:

Toto - Africa.

"The sound installation consists of 6 speakers which are attached to an MP3 player that only has one song on it - Toto’s Africa. The song is put on loop and the installation runs on solar batteries to keep Toto going for all eternity."

Despite being released in 1982, the tune is still incredibly popular, with the official video receiving more than 824 million views on YouTube.

We can't help but wonder how many times the track will have looped already and if many people have heard it first-hand since its installation four years ago.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@maxsiedentopf/Toto/YouTube

Topics: Music, World News