Toto's "Africa"

Toto's "Africa"

Updated Sep 30, 2023 at 08:45AM EDT by Mateus.

Added Sep 19, 2017 at 02:01PM EDT by Don.

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"Africa" is a 1982 soft rock song by the American band Toto which has been widely parodied and covered online as an iconic track from the time period. Additionally, the song has been referenced numerous times on South Park as a nostalgic favorite of the Member Berries characters.


On September 30th, 1982, the band Toto released the song "Africa" as a single for their fourth studio album Toto IV, which reached the number one spot on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart the following February.


On August 30th, 2010, Youtuber Mike Massé uploaded an acoustic cover of the song performed at the Pie Pizzeria in South Jordan, Utah (shown below, left). Within seven years, the video gathered upwards of 9.02 million views and 8,900 comments. On November 25th, 2013, the Angel City Chorale uploaded a cover of "Africa" to YouTube, where it received over 7.2 million views and 1,500 comments over the next four years (shown below, right).

On May 13th, 2015, the /r/TotoAfricaCovers[1] subreddit was created for submissions of musical covers of the song. On August 18th, 2017, the Frog Leap Studios YouTuber channel released a metal cover of the song, garnering more than 5.15 million views and 9,800 comments over the next month (shown below, left). On September 15th, The Holderness Family uploaded a parody of "Africa" with lyrics complaining about learning algebra (shown below, right).

South Park

During the 20th season of South Park "Africa" was referenced in multiple episodes, where it was nostalgically covered by the Member Berries (shown below).

White House Event

In September 2017, a Facebook[2] event page was created by George Washington University students Joanna Choi and Jaskeerat Mann to sing "Africa" on the White House North Lawn in Washington, D.C. (shown below). That month, the event gathered upwards of 20,000 "interested" RSVPs and 3,800 "going" RSVPs.

Screenshot of the white house for the event of singing Africa

Pitbull's "Ocean to Ocean" Remix

On December 13th, 2018, the WaterTower Music YouTube channel uploaded the song "Ocean to Ocean" by Pitbull featuring Rhea on the soundtrack for the upcoming superhero film Aquaman, which features a background instrumental track and chorus based on "Africa" (shown below).

That day, Entertainment Weekly published a post about the song on Facebook, which received over 2,100 reactions and 590 comments, many of which mocked and derided the song (shown below, left). The following day, Redditor Ben_Mole submitted an image macro about the song to /r/dankmemes[3] with the caption "Look how they massacred my boy" (shown below, right). Within seven hours, the post gained over 1,900 points (99% upvoted).

Evan Low BUTWHY? 401 Like Reply 20h 14 Replies 4 hrs Megan Elizabeth Bashore Somewhere in this song, "Mr Worldwide" is mentioned. I can just feel it.. 0186 Like Reply 20h 6 Replies 10 hrs lan Skelton Nobody should cover Toto's Africanobody Like Reply 19h 093 15 Replies 5 hrs Morgan Julien Crestel Marvel: "James Gunn's jokes were in such bad taste, we can't see how a major studio could endorse this level of indecency" DC: "HOLD MY BEER." Marvel: *horrified .. You know that wasn't a challenge right?"... See More Like Reply 17h Tara Kuncir Barber Yes but why? I mean Weezer just did a FANTASTIC cover 0554 Like Reply 20h 6 Replies 4 hrs Andy Moseley This sounds like a horrible ea65 Like Reply 20h 2 Replies Deborah Espina I need to be able to give this a thumbs down. Like Reply 19h Pitbull doing a cover of Africa by Toto Look howChey assacred my boy

"Toto Forever"

In late December of 2018, Namibian-German artist Max Siedentopf installed an art installation in the Namib Desert which will in theory be playing "Africa" for eternity. The set-up features six speakers on individual plinths and is powered by solar energy.

TOTO FOREVER from Max Siedentopf on Vimeo.

NPR[4] reported on the story on January 14th, 2019. Siedentopf has not disclosed the exact location of the installation, and provided a "map" which has the entire Namib desert circled and labeled "Approximate location."

TPUPA PNLLANGOLA ZAMBIA Katima Mulilo amve inent ARIENFLUSS RUACANA Ruacana vangoCaprivi Game Park FALLS Oshakati Ondangwa udumu National Park banedin Sta Chobe POPA FA Kaokoveld Panamu Sir Cnanes Elhot 42 Halali Tsumeb Okaukuejo Otavi Grootfontein HOBA METEORITE Outjo Te yce Bay PETRIRIED Khorixas OcK Waterberg CREST. Otjiwarongo BURNI MOUNTAIN DINOSAUR BRANDE R Omaruru / F00TPRINTS SPITZKOPPE Okahandja Usakos H nties Bay Gobabis Swa,.pmund -.....WELwas HIA PI AINS Highlands ■Windhoek Walls Bay (t.ran kome // Rehoboth DESERT maach arbour Tropic of Capricorn tairc mep Bay Namib Cawdor Castle 1906 Naukluft Edward Bohle LEI s Mariental Maltahöhe Oravi 1945 Helm Gariganus GIANTS PLAYGROUND QUIVER TREE FO Keetmanshoop Lüder Kolmanskp NAMIBIA Fish River Natuporos 1969 0 100 200 300 km Oranjemund nge 100 200 mile SOUTH AFRICA APPROXIMATE LOCATION OF INSTALLATION

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Sunnie Bot v4
Sunnie Bot v4

Imagine wandering the desert for days looking for rescue and just before you collapse from exhaustion you hear a noise. The sound of music fills you with a feeling of determination like you've never felt. If you just climb this next sand dune you'll find another human – and you'll be saved! just as you reach the top you look down and see just a few white pillars with speakers. Enraged, you go down to smash the thing that had given you so much false hope. Just before you reach them you fall for the last time and the next time you're found your bleached skeleton is posed as if to be grasping for the speakers. The people who found you are natives and have no idea what any of this means, but they assume if you were willing to die in an attempt to be with the music it must be important. 'Africa' by Toto now becomes a song sung by natives the continent over with your skeleton paraded around as a symbol for it.


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