Opinion: Akon is building two Utopian cities now [where is the money for this?]

It’s official that Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam aka Akon will build Akon City in Senegal in 2018. The American artist who has already pledged to build “Wakanda” in Senegal and it’s supposed to start this year in Senegal. Now in 2021 he has pledged to build a second Akon City in Uganda. 

The first “Wakanda” is to be built in Mbodiène, a town of 6,000 citizens in Senegal and is supposed to be the “original” Akon City. Where this is supposed to be designed by a Abu Dhabi architect and U.S. based developer. The city will run by a cryptocurrency “Akoin” and get electricity though Akon’s Lightening Africa. That is already the dream project and the utopia of someone’s wild dream.

Akon have earned millions of dollars with his music. He has dropped albums and is getting royalties that way. Just like his earning money on Lady Gaga to this day. Nobody will earn huge profits from Kardinal Offishal and Colby O’Donis. Nevertheless, as Akon continues to sell dreams.

We can wonder, if these will turn into nightmares. Akon is now supposed to build another Akon City. This time in Uganda. He has promised a city built by 2036. That gives him time to finish it by 15 years. However, that will be tough to complete and even get funding for. When you are not even fully financed your vanity project in Senegal.

Akon has only raised one third of US Billions he needs to build his Utopia in Senegal. Where his majestic and futuristic city is supposed to be built. He is going over the edge being able to this stunt twice. Not even dictators in their own home-countries are able to pull this off. That with the ability to skate of criticism and misuse of state funds to complete their vanity projects. Where they are building their home villages into a city. There will be big churches, stadiums and even airports. It is still not as utopian as Akon proposes.

Thomas Moore’s Utopia isn’t even like this. Neither is Asterix’s ‘The Mansion’s of the Gods’ where Rome and Julius Caesar wants to build a city around the rebellious Gaul village. In that story that fails and the architect have to give up. Still, that story of fiction can be replicated here in reality. Where a visionary and a salesman who wants to suddenly create a magnificent city out of nowhere.

Akon does the same and promises that twice. He promises this in Uganda… even before he has finished or even delivered anything in Senegal. A place where he has promised to deliver this since 2018. The state have given him land and his supposed to do it. While his not financing this himself. His not a Rockefeller or a Bill Gates.

That’s not Akon’s fault, but with his wealth he isn’t able to finance or do this on his own. Akon needs financing, architects, developers and a natural progression of this. If he ever wants to build his Brasilia. No, this will not even be a town built around a company or a manufacturing plant. No, this is towns or cities built out of dust. Where they are supposed to just rise up from the ashes. They are supposed build a city out of nowhere.

That is the certain vanity projects fitting ill-advised kings or dictators. They usually does this to their home villages or home-towns. Where they will boost it and make it giant place. With a majestic mansion for themselves and other buildings of stature. They will even build statutes and other things to remind the public of their greatness. However, if this is failed. They will be like empty ghost-towns or company towns who failed after the company couldn’t earn profits anymore.

Akon cities could easily end up in the same space as company towns or dictators vanity projects. As Akon isn’t funding this himself. He promises grandeur and greatness, but have nothing else than promised land to build it on. Akon is supposed to be able to get investors and build these cities. If it is with his cryptocurrency or other ways. That is still an utopian dream.

The recording artist is supposed to pull off building to cities. The musician needs to be able to play on several of strings and ability to fund this. As much as he needs to fund all of his other businesses. The man who needs to cater to all of his wives and now all of these enterprises too. He is selling lofty dreams and hoping other people’s money can be spent.

Akon would have a greater shot …. than the dictators and giant companies building towns across the world. What is striking here is the supposed sudden Wakanda or Utopia is supposed to happen in both Senegal and Uganda. They are needed to built with other people’s money and goodwill of both states. As they are both giving away land to this development. Though the building of this cities are no natural growth or a city developing through the stages they usually do with added population and businesses.

Akon will most likely either able to create one of these. If not it will be a Gbadolite. A forgotten relic of the big-man and for life President Mobutu Sese Seko of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The same might easily happen to Akon City in both Senegal and Uganda. As he will have to make it viable for investors and they have to see these enterprises as profitable. Everyone investing has to get their cut and the people moving there have to suddenly be able to make a living in these cities. That without any official business or companies working there. They are just supposed to spring up and the seeds of a this visionary city is viable to feed itself.

That is why this a questionable dream. An Utopia or an Wakanda. If Akon isn’t able to bring in the cash it will turn into a nightmare. It will be ghost-towns before they are even starting to exist. If he gets it built. It might die quickly too, as it is a generic and a manufactured towns without any natural life. This will make it harder to breathe life into it. Unless, his developers are planning the livelihoods and possible ways to actually live there. That shows how far-fetched these things are.

Akon is trading a dream or hoping to avoid a nightmare. These cities needs so much to work. Not only the building, but the funding and make them liveable. That is when this get real. So, how can Akon be able to build cities without spending his own money?

I want to wish Akon well, but feels sorry for the ones falling for it. I have a feeling like the fictional story of Asterix is what would happen here. The promise of an urban city beside the Gaul village. However, the architect had give up and the Roman city couldn’t get built and had to give up. The same will most likely happen here.

I know the fans of Akon and the ones earning fortunes on his enterprises doesn’t want this out. However, it is necessary to say this. Akon could just a be a con man too. Than he has made himself a king without even having the battle for the throne. That is legendary, but also scary. We can just wonder, if he will ever pull it off. Time will tell, but don’t be sad if this all just a cash-grab and a heist of certain elites. Peace.

Opinion: Akon doesn’t know who he is dealing with…

The first time I heard about Akon was when I heard the single he had with Styles P “Locked Up”. A lot has happened since then and now suddenly making deals with a dictator and doing business at any cost. Clearly, moral values doesn’t add up to possible profit. The entrepreneur and music mogul wants to earns currency and doesn’t care how. That is why his suddenly seeking the graces of the old man with the hat.

Aliane Damala Badara Thiam aka Akon and wife Rozina Negusei. He and his wife is now a business trip to Uganda. Where they are in the presence of the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and First Lady Janet Museveni. They even got an army chopper to fly them to Rwakitura, the President’s farm.

Akon knows how to play many cards and take advantage of opportunities around him. Just like he was able to profit on the lacking trust or ability to promote Lady Gaga. He has been able to sell other businesses too.

He has sold music and been a music mogul with Konvict Music. Also sold clothing apparel, which is common for musicians doing it big. Akon also bought a diamond mine in South Africa back-in-the-day too.

In Senegal the serial entrepreneur is planning to build Akon City. Akon has also the Akon Lighting Africa and Akon Lighting America. That is his solar electricity enterprise, which have been working since 2014.

So, he has already done a lot of business moves. That is not shocking at all. The latest before he was trying the waters of Uganda. He made a deal for a venture into mining in the Haut-Katanga Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo. That was only made official this February 2021. Akon is moving forward and trying to make himself a big man in many fields.

Now his sweet talking the old man and being honourable at his ranch. That is just typical when celebrities and wealthy foreign patrons arrives in the Republic. Last time it was like this… Kanye West and Kim Kardashian showed up with their sneakers and the state promised more tourism as a result. A result that never delivered and proven.

We don’t know what sort of deal Akon is seeking. Neither does we know what his Wife wants either. Even if she is such a grand supporter of Museveni and wants his reign to continue. That is showing how little they know of the plight of the citizens and the despotic ruler he is. They are just hearing and seeing the perspectives the state is serving them. Akon is only seeing the good side and doesn’t even get close to touch the dark-side.

Akon should prepare to offer “Presidential Handshakes” or fancy “kickbacks”. The musician should even look into how Patrick Ho dealt with Ugandan counterparts. Heck, the Konvict Music label head should emulate Sudhir Ruparelia, if he wants to earn any good fortunes in the Republic. Because, getting through honest means and with his investments will not go far.

Museveni must know that catering to Akon is a risk for him too. Akon has deals in Senegal and in other parts of Africa. However, Akon is estimated wealth of US$80 millions, which isn’t bad by any stretch. However, Akon isn’t a Dangote, but surely he can chase some ends there as well.

Akon must clearly be on a fishing expedition. If he thinks this is wise and viable. He doesn’t care about the human rights violations, the lack of freedom or liberty of peers. Akon couldn’t have performed or been vocal like he is, if he was an musician in Uganda. However, since his an American investor. The red carpet treatment is there for him and he get the positive brigade served to him. He gets the words of wisdom and gets options to invest. Akon will be served a favourable pitch and opportunities. The President will enjoy that and pocket some goodwill from abroad. A man like the President always needs that.

Akon is maybe offered a business deal, but his also a nice PR Stunt. The President can bash in the greatness of an American musician. Just like he could with Kanye West. He just get a moment of glory with a foreigner. Kanye didn’t deliver anything, but Akon has a history of doing so.

He has been selling music, clothing, diamonds, solar electricity, building a city in his name and now the newest is another mining enterprise in the DRC. Now he visits the neighbours to the east and pops by the President there.

Akon wants to dwell into it all. Nevertheless… maybe this is the deal or the offer he should refuse. Unless, he wants to be known as the guy that does deals with dictators. That is his decision and conscience to live with. If profits matters more than ethics. If coins matters more than morals. That is all up to him.

We can just wonder, if he is being tricked or if he is tricking the President. Akon could do that and just be testing the waters. There is nothing fruitful or insightful to the possible enterprises shown to the grander public. There is no direct-investment or project of Akon. Only that his visiting the Presidential farm. That is really not saying much.

Akon… your a fool for this one. This is a bad move. Unless, this is your new crowd and what you aspire to be known for. Peace.