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Toto's 'Africa' to play 'for all eternity' in African desert

Toto Forever sound installation © Max Siedentopf

Toto’s ubiquitous soft-rock anthem ‘Africa’ is being played for ‘all eternity’ in the Namib Desert on the west coast of Africa.

Namibian artist Max Siedentopf has created a sound installation called Toto Forever consisting of six white speakers attached to an MP3 player that contains just one song; Toto’s 1982 hit single ‘Africa’.

Placed at an undisclosed location somewhere in the 55-million-year-old, 81,000 sq km Namib Desert, Siedentopf told the BBC the installation has the potential “to keep Toto going for all eternity" thanks to its solar batteries.

"I wanted to pay the song the ultimate homage and physically exhibit 'Africa' in Africa," the 27-year-old artist said.

"Some (Namibians) love it and some say it's probably the worst sound installation ever. I think that's a great compliment."

Although Siedentopf said he hoped it could keep playing for all eternity, he admits that the sound installation may be battered by the elements.

"Most parts of the installation were chosen to be as durable as possible, but I'm sure the harsh environment of the desert will devour the installation eventually,” he added.

Last November The Exchange music venue in Bristol played Toto’s ‘Africa’ on loop for 12 hours for charity.

The brainchild of DJ Michael Savage, all proceeds from the event went to Bristol-based charity Temwa, which helps impoverished rural communities in rural areas of Malawi.

Reacting to the event on Twitter, Toto’s Steve Lukather joked: “This could be worse than waterboarding!! I mean WTF is going on with this tune? I mean it’s been GREAT for us in many ways but we recorded this as a deep cut track in 1981. NO idea what it would become! (pun intended) You think YOU are sick of it?  But… it's a gift now.”

In other Toto news, the band headline the Live At Chelsea Concert Series in the picturesque outdoor grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea on Thursday 13th June.

Tickets are available to buy from Planet Rock Tickets now.

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