What Toto's "Africa" is really about

I admit that I dig Toto's "Africa" (1982). No irony. I've always loved it. And once again, the song is all over our news feeds thanks to Weezer's fan-inspired cover of it. (My favorite cover though is this one by Low.) But what the hell is the song actually about? Based on comments from Toto, it seems the meaning has evolved as sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti. From Wikipedia:

Jeff Porcaro explains the idea behind the song: "a white boy is trying to write a song on Africa, but since he's never been there, he can only tell what he's seen on TV or remembers in the past."

Paich said:

At the beginning of the '80s I watched a late night documentary on TV about all the terrible death and suffering of the people in Africa. It both moved and appalled me, and the pictures just wouldn't leave my head. I tried to imagine how I'd feel about if I was there and what I'd do.

In 2015, Paich explained the song is about a man's love of a continent, Africa, rather than just a personal romance. In 2018, Paich explained the song is about a person flying in to meet a lonely missionary. As a child, Paich attended a Catholic school. Several of the teachers had done missionary work in Africa, and this became the inspiration behind the line "I bless the rains down in Africa."

More here: "The story behind Toto's 'Africa'"

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