Michael Jackson and Akon once considered setting up music schools in Africa, according to Akon. The artist, 49-year-old Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam, spoke in-depth about the planned music universities that were put on hold after Michael Jackson’s passing in an interview with TMZ on Monday, September 26.
Akon said, “It was just a concept at first. Mike and I were discussing starting music schools all throughout Africa. Giving them the necessary equipment, know-how, and facilities to help them hone their abilities is important because Africa is home to a wealth of talent.”
Thiam continues by describing how his decision to visit Nigeria around the same time that Jackson did was influenced by their collaboration on this project.
“The whole start and support all those young musicians for afrobeat and things like this was one of the key motives when I went into Nigeria back then.”
The singer continued by going into further detail on the state of the proposed schools as well as the complexity of the King of Pop’s legacy and personality.
“The schools haven’t happened yet; it was simply a talk we had, but I definitely want to follow-up on it,” the speaker said.
“That wouldn’t be a legacy question, like you know what Mike done for the culture, if people realised who he really was and understood the narrative behind it,” Akon said. The powers that be in America eventually operate somewhat differently when it comes to Black and brown people, which shouldn’t even be a concept.
Michael Jackson continues to establish himself as the lone legitimate King of Pop as his discography makes history elsewhere. The RIAA recognised “Billie Jean” and “Thriller,” both from the same album, as diamonds on August 29, 2022.
MJ’s heirs also used the occasion to reveal that Thriller would receive a reissue in honour of its 40th birthday, along with a bonus CD containing previously unreleased songs and demos. The release of Thriller: 40th anniversary is scheduled for November 2022.