Akon has quite literally been a beacon of light for the African community. Though he’s been away from the spotlight for some time now, the singer, songwriter, producer, and business mogul is far from forgotten for many.
In 2014, Akon started Akon Lighting Africa, a non-profit that provides solar energy to 14 African countries and over 600 million people. Akon is from Senegal himself, therefore, he knows the struggle that many Africans face in more impoverished areas. For many, once the sun goes down, productivity is non-existent because being able to afford constant electricity is nothing more than a far-fetched dream.
Akon solved that problem for many by implementing solar energy panels on houses in extremely rural, developing countries like Guinea, Mali, Niger, Benin, and Sierra Leone. If there’s one thing that those African nations will never have a shortage of, it’s sunshine. The solar panels will allow those people to receive 24/7 energy in their households at no cost to them.
This changes lives indefinitely. Children who once were inhibited from doing schoolwork or studying late at night now have the option to help their parents around the house after school, knowing now that they can do their assignments after sunset. Women don’t have to rush on their household duties in the afternoon to try and get everything done by nightfall. It introduces an entirely new way of life for these people, and now, they are free to focus on other things, like starting their own businesses.
Although some may consider Akon an icon of the past in America, he is surely a superhero in his own community, and the many others whose lives he’s changed forever.