Vic Mensa has arrived in Accra, Ghana to perform at the free Black Star Line Festival on Friday (January 6), and in the days leading up to it is leading the charge on providing clean water to over 200,000 residents.
The Chicago rapper told TMZ Hip Hop that he grew emotional when he saw the living conditions in Accra, which included contaminated water, and partnered up with his father, who is Ghanian, to bring clean water to three villages.
“We’re building three boreholes in different communities in Ghana to provide clean drinking water; the first being the Asokore Zongo in Koforidua where my family lives, which is already built,” Mensa said.
He continued: “The other locations are a nearby community called Effiduase and then our ancestral village in the Volta Region, Amedzofe. Most people in communities like this in Ghana experience constant waterborne diseases.”
Drilling for the boreholes will reportedly take around three to four weeks to finish and will include 10-15 days of on-site drilling, followed by pipework and cable installations. The water in question will also be tested in a lab prior to human consumption, and TMZ was informed the cost of the boreholes was around $45,000.
Chance The Rapper unveiled the lineup for the free Black Star Line Festival he started with Vic Mensa back in November. The fest will include performances from Erykah Badu, T-Pain, Vic Mensa, Jeremih, Tobe Nwigwe, Sarkodie, M.anifest and Asakaa Boys, with more to be announced.
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Vic Mensa and Chance The Rapper spent some extensive time in Ghana last summer, and were seen hanging out with eight students from Chicago in an effort to teach them about their roots. The “Shelter” collaborators announced the festival at Free The Youth’s flagship location.
Chance previously explained that the name of the festival came to him while he was working on his upcoming sophomore album Star Line Gallery.
“I was inspired by Marcus Garvey in the early 1900s, 1919 through actually 1922, so 100 years ago now,” Chance told Sway In The Morning. “He started and ran this very important, integral shipping line. He had a fleet of ships, these giant ocean liners which are the size of cruise ships, that he owned and funded with common Black folks’ money.
“But what he did with it was he created a trade route between the United States, all of the Black islands and the continent of Africa, and that created a network of people where people from all over the world were interconnected and working with each other and taking trips together, and created this connectivity that didn’t exist before.”
This connectivity was known as the “Black Star Line,” hence the name of the festival.
“When I think about the Black Star Line and all the spaces that it’s been in, the Black Star is the representation of Ghana, in their flag, in the fabric of how their country was set up,” Chance added. “They believe in global Blackness, Black connectivity and a free Africa.”