Africa : King of Africa to Walk Across African Continent...


Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2001
New York
By Shirin Aguiar-Holloway

A rastafarian singer who is poised to pursue his dream of crossing Africa on foot will be cheered on by friends and supporters on Friday at a farewell party. After months of preparation, reggae musician Jimmy Andersen, aka Chiozo King of Africa, will leave London next week to begin walking 11,000 miles from Cape Town to Cairo. His mission is to help the continent, and especially women in rural Africa, climb out of poverty by setting up a socio-economic structure, and to help marginalized groups elsewhere.

Rastafarian Chiozo, who was born in Zambia but grew up in Kenya and Tanzania, and has also lived in Malawi, will embark on the mammoth two-and-a-half-year mission, which will take him through war-zones, deserts and 29 cities. The aim is not just to throw charity at Africa, but to use methods and ideas already in place and tested by Africans. Chiozo is also keen to help the African Diaspora and others in Britain to learn more about the great continent. “It was a search for something that was true and real. We have been preaching Africa for so long it’s become an empty message. "We need to go out and live there. We need to be full-time. Thirty thousand people dying a day in Africa needs an extraordinary effort.” He added: “Our people are suffering and dying...our village has 15 AIDS orphans at my mother’s door. AIDS is not just a word. A lot of my friends will not be around when I go home.”

Chiozo believes that rather than relying on solutions from Tony Blair, Bob Geldof and the UN, solutions have to come from within Africa. He points at the Arms Fair, which took place shortly after G8 and which meant that certain African factions could purchase weapons to continue killing themselves in proxy wars. “In the same month they have the Arms Fair, Bob Geldof and Tony Blair blame the UN. We will just go out and look out for those who are not being looked after. Solutions have to come from us, not from outsiders.”

He has been hard at work laying the groundwork for his trip, which is not simply a personal adventure, but a public project. He has gathered a network of supporters in the UK, Denmark, Germany, France, Belarus and Poland, including business, churches and individuals. This network is a key part of his strategy: “The network I’ve built up in the West will be very attractive to African businesses. There are major players in Africa.”

Most of the funds for his trip will be raised through music roadshows and through business deals in Africa. He will be releasing an album in Malawi and selling a flyer which will be regularly replaced, at universities, shows, music shops and online. Proceeds raised will be channelled through a charity which will be launched this Friday at the launch of the walk. A lot of the inspiration for the trip came from his Malawian mother, Joyce Mtawale. A former politician, she is now head of a registered NGO that is empowering hundreds of women in Mehinji, near the capital Llilongwe.

She will be joining Chiozo during his walk in Malawi. Chiozo told Blink: “There’s not enough empowerment of the women in rural areas. "They should receive most of the funding that comes into Africa. Women are the key to solving Africa’s problems.” That’s why the charity he has set up, the Council of the First Woman, will be headed up by eight women. They will receive 85% of the funds raised by Nubian Publishing, a UK company he has set up with young people to protect the rights to his music, publish flyers and market CDs, T-shirts and other merchandise.

Adwoa Kwateng-kluvitse, from Forward said: “For us as a women’s organization, which is an activist organization campaigning against forms of violence against women, we recognize the importance of African women’s role in moving the Diaspora and the African continent as far as it needs to be done. “We think the walk which will be linking with African women’s organizations along the way and raising the issues and highlighting the work being done in Africa is a positive step.”

The Rev. Robert de Berry, vicar of St. Mark’s Church in Kennington, South London, said: “I have a particular love of African countries, and I almost did that journey myself 44 years ago, but in a much easier way. “I have been enriched by people who are often very poor. Always one wants to try and get things that will be self-sustaining in some way. There’s a big dependency culture throughout Africa and Chiozo has to be careful in placing the money where it is effective.”

Chiozo has already started working on a book, called African Determination, a cross between a travelogue and organizational handbook, and recording a series of music albums with local artists across Africa. He will also write about his search for African solutions to our problems on Blink every fortnight of his trip. His journey will not just be about music, but about living with communities and tribes, documenting their daily struggle to understanding their solutions to problems.

The 34-year-old will leave the UK on September 28 for final engagements in Europe before leaving for Axum, Ethiopia, where he will fast and pray at the Ark of the Covenant for seven days. His epic journey will begin with a one-and-half-month walk from Cape Town to Johannesburg starting at the beginning of November, culminating in a free concert.

The father of one, Chiozo has lived in Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi, Denmark, and now London. He became a Rastafarian at age 18. You can e-mail him at:, and his website is CDs, T-shirts and other merchandise can be purchased at

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