After admitting that he and the late Michael Jackson had intended to work together on an initiative to benefit African children, Akon, an African-American singer who performs under the stage name Aliaune Damala Badara, has decided to pursue that goal himself. During a recent interview with HipHopDX, he recalled how he and Jackson had bonded over a shared passion for helping African youth.
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“Mike was just an amazing person man, I wish people had a chance to understand and really experience the person the way I did,” Akon said. “We had like a good two years together where we just hung out practically four, five times a week, right? Real conversations and he would shock you, the kind of stuff that he liked, the kind of stuff he would say.”
He further explained that Michael Jackson never had a chance to experience a real childhood due to his fame at a young age, and this inspired his desire to help African children succeed. “His biggest thing was always making sure that kids were in a comfortable position to be a kid. Because he never really had a childhood himself,” Akon stated. “He was a big star as a child. He didn’t get a chance to go to the carnival, go to the movies, eat candy, like things that kids naturally did so when he got older, he surrounded himself with all those kiddish things that he never had a chance to be at.”
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In honor of the late Michael Jackson and their shared dream, Akon is now taking the initiative to build schools in Africa.