A Namibian artist is cementing what Toto fans have always known: “Africa” is eternal. Max Siedentopf has created a sound installation in the coastal Namib Desert that will pump out the chart-topping 1982 single on a continuous loop – using solar batteries “to keep Toto going for all eternity.”
“[I] wanted to pay the song the ultimate homage and physically exhibit ‘Africa’ in Africa,” the 27-year-old artist told the BBC. “Some [Namibians] love it, and some say it’s probably the worst sound installation ever. I think that’s a great compliment.”
Siedentopf selected an undisclosed location for the installation, utilizing six speakers attached to an MP3 player containing “Africa” – and “Africa” alone. He hopes the nearly five-minute cut, filled with glossy synthesizers and layered percussion, will continue to play for many years – or at least until nature takes its toll. “Most parts of the installation were chosen to be as durable as possible,” he said. “But I’m sure the harsh environment of the desert will devour the installation eventually.”
Additional photos and details are available at Siedentopf’s website. Since he’s kept the exact coordinates a mystery thus far, we can only hope some diehard Toto fan will embark on a soft-rock scavenger hunt – and possibly document their quest on Reddit.
“Africa” is riding an unlikely resurgence. Thanks to endless memes and a fan-demanded Weezer cover, the Eighties hit was one of the U.K.’s most-streamed songs in 2017; and as of this writing, the song’s YouTube video has reached over 440 million views.