akon*Akon is not only a pop star, but he’s an activist and philanthropist who set out to help Africa. He started a non-profit organization, “Akon Lighting Africa.”

His goal with the organization is helping 49 countries in Africa garner solar-powered electricity by the end of 2020, according to Al Jazeera.

Another goal of Akon’s is to get African-Americans to understand Africa better. He said black folks from the US are afraid of the continent.

“How many African-Americans do you know actually consider Africa as a vacation spot? Not one…,” he said. “Even just for knowledge, just to know where they came from, just to get an idea of what that is; there is so much fear instilled in them that they wouldn’t even want to go there to visit. You mention Africa, they start shaking.”

He spent his childhood in Senegal, but was born in Missouri where of course protests occurred over police brutality and the murder of black teen Mike Brown in Ferguson. He opened up about race relations in the US and compared the country to Africa.

“Pick a project in New York, for instance: that’s a five-star hotel compared to the environment I came up in….” he said. “They actually get money from the government, there actually are programmes that help the impoverished and the poor, and you get food stamps. I mean, they have it good compared to Africa…”

He added, “there’s a huge difference in how the government allocates funds for the poor in Africa, the environment is not even left and right.”

He continued with, “If these groups were to be taken from the environment where they are now to the same ‘equal’ environment in Africa, they would be crying to come back to America.”