Somewhere along the past several years, Toto’s “Africa” evolved from a kind of great song to a truly iconic one. Even scientists have joked “Africa” is the greatest song ever made, according to science. Maybe we just needed the time to properly digest those lovingly enigmatic lyrics. Weezer collected its first Hot 100 hit from an “Africa” cover while Rolling Stone declared it a retro contemporary anthem, a new “Don’t Stop Believin’” if you will.
A mild nitpick of “Africa” is that it doesn’t really have anything to do with the continent. As Rolling Stone writes, it’s “an Eighties ode to Africa by a bunch of L.A. rock dudes who’d never set foot in the place.” But thanks to one artist, now the song “Africa” will forever play across the world’s oldest desert in Africa.
Namibian-German artist Max Siedentopf created an undisclosed art installation in the Namib desert called Toto Forever. As Siedentopf writes on his site, the installation “pays tribute to probably the most popular song of the last four decades.”
“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,” he adds.
Siedentopf told the Guardian he’d consider any reaction to the work as a compliment, negative or positive. He also doesn’t seem particularly worried over anyone finding it anytime soon. His website includes an unhelpful map circling the entire Namib desert as the location of the installation.
“I’m not too worried that someone will put it in jeopardy,” Siedentopf wrote in an email to the Guardian. “Finding it might take some time.”