R&B singer Akon may have been born in the United States, but he wants to go back to his roots — which, to him, means constructing a city in his family’s ancestral home of Senegal, which he describes as a “real-life Wakanda.”
Ordinarily, I’d just think this was some idle talk by someone not in compos mentis. After all, one of Akon’s best-known songs was a collaboration with enthusiastic marijuana endorser Snoop Dogg (“I Wanna Love You”), so maybe Akon’s been hitting the wacky tobaccky a bit too often.
However, nothing short of megadoses of LSD could possibly have produced the delusions described by the singer in his promotional push on “Akon City,” in which he promised “every single African American would be a millionaire without even thinking twice” if they relocated to Africa and that America would be paralyzed “overnight” if its estimated 41.6 million black population up and left.
According to a report in AfroTech on Friday, the proposed city in the troubled West African nation of Senegal — which Akon says can be built for the low, low investment price of $6 billion — is intended “to be a safe space for Black Americans and others facing racial injustices.”
“The system back home treats them unfairly in so many different ways that you can never imagine. And they only go through it because they feel that there is no other way,” Akon said in 2020, according to The Associated Press, adding that the proposed African city would be a “home back home.”
“So if you’re coming from America or Europe or elsewhere in the diaspora and you feel that you want to visit Africa, we want Senegal to be your first stop,” he said.
“The almost surrealist, water-like designs of Akon City were inspired by the shapes of traditional sculptures long made in Africa’s villages, he said. However the gleaming structures of Akon City will be made of metal and glass, not wood,” the AP reported.
Akon promotes the idea that American Blacks should move to Africa and use their creative talents to develop the continent and become wealthy in the process.
Ghana & Senegal have been actively trying to recruit Black Americans to emigrate.https://t.co/s1M0X2yylI
— National Conservative (@NatCon2022) September 5, 2023
“A hotel within the city plans to feature rooms decorated for each of the 54 nations of Africa. However, the project was designed by a Dubai-based architect because Akon said he couldn’t find a suitable one in Africa fast enough. It’s also unclear what percentage of the building materials and construction teams will be sourced locally.”
You may not be surprised to learn that Akon City is, well, not yet extant, nor does there seem to be much movement in making it happen. Furthermore, some investors have alleged — shocker of shockers! — that this isn’t an accident.
In March of 2022, one of Akon’s former business partners sued him, noting that an investigation commissioned by the plaintiff and conducted by retired federal Special Agent Scot Thomasson found that the city, which was meant to run on blockchain and cryptocurrency technology, contained “many of the trademark characteristics (known as ‘red flags’) of fraudulent business ventures such as Ponzi schemes and pyramid schemes,” according to the New York Post.
But forget all that. According to an AfroTech report last Friday, you’d be a fool not to invest in and/or move to Akon City if you’re a black American.
“Africa is in a position where if African Americans take position now, every single African American would be a millionaire without even thinking twice because there’s nothing that’s not needed over there,” Akon said in a recent podcast interview.
“So, you guys come with the discipline, you guys come with the knowledge, you come with the resources.”
The singer, AfroTech reported, “went on to emphasize his perspective that it’s Black people who are the driving force behind America’s revenue today across all sectors such as sports, entertainment, fashion, and medicine.”
“I mean, you name it. We’re leading in every single sector,” he said.
“Just imagine if we all just decided to just take all our bags, withdrew all our money and go to Africa. Where would America be today? It would collapse overnight.”
As for Akon City itself? “The whole idea is to create what the future of Africa should be,” he said.
“We have all the resources, we have the manpower, we definitely have the population. So it was just a matter of putting something in a country that can start and pretty much scale out to every other country — that we can copy and paste or at least the idea.”
“If nothing [else] happens, the city will be done and mentally people know that it’s something possible to do in Africa,” he added.
Yes. It is possible to spend billions of dollars that are meant to help Africans and create a failed project in a failing state. That much I will definitely give you.
However, if it took the words and deeds of a washed-up R&B singer for you to realize this fact, knowledge of the innumerable debacles the last 70-odd years of well-meaning post-colonial money dumps in developing nations have produced — in which the resources would usually have been better allocated had the bank notes simply been burned to provide energy for the locals — apparently isn’t your forte when it comes to the field of geopolitics.
This would be a silly human interest epic-fail story if it weren’t for the fact “Akon City” represents yet another strain of the return-to-Africa grift that goes all the way back to Marcus Garvey, another alleged fraudster with similar delusions.
Yes, this iteration of the hustle is a bit more preposterous, given that it’s about a man selling his idea for a futuristic city — in a country where only 44 percent of rural households actually have electricity — by invoking a fictional utopia from the Marvel movie “Black Panther.” It’s still the same basic idea from a new breed of black separatist: America is a racist hellscape, so let’s go back to the motherland — in this case, Senegal. Not only that, but just think — we could economically paralyze the U.S. if we did it en masse.
What could possibly go wrong?
Well, let’s look at the headlines. Associated Press, June 6: “Senegal violence threatens country’s stability as experts call on government to instill calm.” Human Rights Watch, June 5: “Senegal: Violent Crackdown On Opposition, Dissent.” NPR, June 3: “Death toll in Senegal protests rises to 15 as opposition supporters clash with police.” Deutsche Welle, Jan. 9: “Rebel conflict in Senegal’s Casamance region far from over.”
But give Akon $6 billion in startup cash and he’ll create blockchain Wakanda there. Righty-O. Who’s the finance minister going to be, Sam Bankman-Fried?
Sad to say, but SBF might be living in safer, cleaner conditions than a good many Senegalese in the decades to come, from the sound of things — and I’m willing to bet that there will be at least one more permanent inhabitant in his jail cell than there will ever be in “Akon City,” and just as many millionaires.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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