In 2010, inspired by the global water crisis, the musician and activist Kenna organized Summit on the Summit, a hike to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro with several fellow performers, including Jessica Biel and Lupe Fiasco. The trek was turned into an MTV documentary also intended to raise awareness of the many nations affected by a lack of clean water.
To kick off the new year, Kenna has climbed the mountain again with a new team, including Foster the People singer Mark Foster. The two paused at the peak of Kilimanjaro to deliver this exclusive video message to Rolling Stone, during which they explain the purpose of their hike and describe their view at 16,000 feet.
“We’re doing this project for clean water,” Kenna explains in the clip. “We’re here to make a statement because the global clean water crisis is such a huge issue.”
Foster notes that he is holding his own in the high altitude and freezing cold, though he admits the journey is wearing on him. “I’m definitely feeling slow. I’m always in the back of the pack, like, ‘Guys, wait for me,'” he jokes.
Aside from performing artists, Summit on the Summit includes representatives from several charities and companies, all of whom are brainstorming on how to increase the availability of clean water. After the group descends the mountain, Kenna hopes to expand the program by meeting with more philanthropists, including Bono; he recently covered the U2 hit “Gloria” to get the singer’s attention.
“Bono has always been my main source of inspiration,” says Kenna. “I can’t say I agree with everything Bono has done in history, but I do believe his focus has always been of great intent. He’s always speaking to a feeling and not necessarily to a definitive action that needs to be pursued on a political level.”