Singer Chris Brown thinks hip-hop artist Akon’s pledge to bring solar-powered light to half a million Africans should be bigger news than Caitlyn Jenner‘s inspirational transition. Brown, not always the most subtle of communicators, chose to call Caitlyn Jenner a “science project” in his otherwise reasonable request that more light — so to speak — be shed on Akon’s effort. (Snoop Dogg did the same thing earlier in the week.)
Let’s say, as a (social) science project of our own, that there is enough room in the collective human consciousness for both stories — Jenner’s courage and Akon’s vision. (And many more, for that matter.) So here’s the skinny, as a corrective, for Brown’s sake: Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Bongo Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam, the Sengalese-American singer more commonly known simply as AKON, is a hip-hop artist with a conscience, ambition and a massive audience. Akon is using his popularity to help empower, quite literally, African homes — becoming a driving force behind the “Akon Lighting Africa” project, which will seek to transform the massive solar power potential of Africa into massive improvement in the daily lives of Africans. (Africa has 320 days of sun a year.) To learn more, go to Akon Lighting Africa.