Photo Credit: Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images
‘Real-Life Wakanda’: Mixed Reactions After Akon Unveils His 'Futuristic' City In Senegal
Senegalese-American artist Akon is moving forward with plans to create a futuristic pan-African city that he described as a “real-life Wakanda,” comparing it to the technologically advanced fictional African place portrayed in “Black Panther.”
Akon, 47, was recently in town to lay the foundation in Akon City on a cornfield on 2,000 acres of land given to him by the government, The Washington Post reports.
“I want the buildings to look like real African sculptures that they make in the villages,” he told a crowd near Dakar.
It will feature luxury condos, a beachfront resort, a university, a hospital and so much more as Travel Noire previously reported.
Akon said that he hopes the project will provide much-needed jobs in Senegal while serving as a “home back home” for Black Americans tired of racial injustices.
“The system back home treats them unfairly in so many different ways that you can never imagine. And they only go through it because they feel that there is no other way,” he said.
He unveiled the blueprint for the $6 billion project announcing that construction for Akon City will begin in early 2021 but people have taken issue with the lack of local business owners involved in the project.
The firm building the city is American and the architect behind the first renderings, Hussein Bakri, is based in Abu Dhabi.
“These shapes could be anywhere: Phoenix, Dubai,” Senegalese architect Nzinga Mboup, told the Washington Post. “Why can’t we define our own modernity?”
Others criticized the intentions behind the project.
“The images he is publishing – there is no consideration for anything related to Senegal, to our climate, to our materials, to our needs,” Mamy Tall, a local architect, said. “I really hope it’s a big joke.”
But there are some people who are excited about the project.
“More power to you bro! Encourage other successful artists and business-people [sic] you know to invest in mama Africa,” said Instagram Unikafrica
“In the memory of Chadwick [Boseman] Akon city needs to be finished ASAP,” Instagram user Dereyesfilms, added.