Famous American rapper Karim Kharbouch, better known by his stage name French Montana, has donated 500 Canoes to the Makoko community in Lagos State, where he shot the video of his latest song ‘Wish U Well’.
The 38-year-old Moroccan-American rapper also featured Swae Lee, an American rapper, and Lojay, a Nigerian singer, in his new song, “ Wish U Well”, released on 8 September.
Makoko, a suburb in Lagos, Nigeria, served as the backdrop for the “Wish U Well” music video, capturing the resilient spirit and vibrant culture within the city.
The visuals serve as a love letter to Makoko for Montana and Swae, who spent time together learning about the way of life and connecting with the people.
Speaking about his motivation for embarking on this project in a statement on Monday, Montana said he witnessed firsthand how water is both a lifeline and an obstacle in Makoko. So, the boats are essential tools for transporting the residents of Makoko and goods and services.
He said: “As an immigrant from Morocco, giving back to communities in Africa, the place that raised me, is so important. When I was filming, I met local leaders who talked about the daily struggles and aspirations of the wider community.
I was moved by their spirit and positivity, which inspired me to get involved and to help impact change.”
Also, the American rapper, who has been nominated thrice for Grammy awards, employed the services of local artisans in the production of the 500 canoes, which will boost the local economy and support the livelihood of the community members.
With a production rate of approximately six boats per week per contractor, delivering all 500 ships is billed to conclude within four months, by December, just in time for Christmas.
However, this is not the first time the artiste would be giving back to society; six years ago in Uganda, alongside the release of the diamond record “Unforgettable,” Montana embarked on a vision with the local community while filming the music video with Swae Lee to build the Suubi Health Center.
Makoko, often referred to as the “Venice of Africa,” is a floating slum settlement located on the Lagos Lagoon.
Its residents predominantly rely on fishing as their primary source of livelihood, navigating the labyrinthine waterways using handmade wooden canoes.
The community is known for its vibrant culture and resilience in extreme poverty and challenging living conditions.
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