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Song by Togo pop duo becomes CAN sensation

posted 16 Jan 2012, 05:22 by Mpelembe   [ updated 16 Jan 2012, 05:25 ]
Togolese music duo, Toofan created a song to celebrate the African Nations Cup, which kicks off on January 21 in Equatorial Guinea called Africa Hoyee.
LOME, TOGO  (BOMB FACTORY PRODUCTIONS) - A Togolese song celebrating the 2012 African Cup of Nations is fast becoming the unofficial anthem for the tournament due to kick off on January 21.

African Hoyee, by the popular Togolese music duo Toofan has flooded music forums and social networking sites and looks set to rise to the top of the charts as the games get under way.

Lyrics to the catchy anthem celebrate big names in African football and the video, which features the singers dancing in the street alongside kids and players has won at least one online poll for best video dance moves in 2011.

One of the Toofan duo, Barabas, says the idea was to make a song that united fans from all over the continent.

"In order to get everyone in the football mood, we had to start from the ground, because not everyone is a football player and not everyone can relate to this piece of music. That's why we didn't just do a song with football stars. That's why in the song we featured children, in a ghetto setting, to show people that in Africa, football comes from the streets first, it's not something that's a luxury," he said.

It's not the first time Toofan, who are already well known in Togo and other parts of West Africa, have sung about football.

They released their first single back 2005 as a tribute to the national Togolese football team the Hawks and a second single released in 2006 during the World Cup became the song of choice for Togolese fans at the tournament in Germany.

This time they hope African Hoyee will be sung by all African football fans.

"Africa Hoyee is a piece of music that transports you into another world, it takes you away from this environment, and takes you in a football setting, in an atmosphere of joy, happiness and hope," said Master Just, the other half of the duo.

Togo failed to qualify for this year's Africa Cup of Nations but despite the disappointment fans of the game in the capital Lome say they'll still be watching the coming event.

One fan, Olivier Adja, told Reuters Toofan's song will do well despite the nation's failure to qualify because it speaks to every player and fan in Africa not just in Togo.

"The album is popular because it brings together the whole of Africa, because they sing and praise Africa, they sing about African football and about the great African players in Europe and the things that Africans do well in football. So I feel like they have taken a new approach, meaning they have left the realm of Togolese football and entered the whole of Africa, singing about the big names all over the continent," said Adja.

Togo has had a troubled relationship with CAN officials ever since January 2010 when the team was disqualified from the tournament following a dispute.

The team had requested time to mourn after they were involved in a fatal shootout in Cabinda, as they traveled to attend the games in Angola, where the event was taking place.

Three people were killed in the incident when gunmen ambushed a bus carrying the players. The government of Togo withdrew the national squad from a match against Ghana, saying the team needed time to mourn.

The move was greeted with anger by CAN organisers who threatened to ban Togo from subsequent tournaments if they didn't stay and play.

When Togo still refused the team was banned from the 2012 Cup of Nations. Their place was re-instated after an appeal but they failed to qualify anyway.