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Rotimi plans to build bridges across continent

American-Nigerian actor due to visit SA

Masego Seemela Online journalist
American-Nigerian singer and actor Rotimi to take on Africa with his music.
American-Nigerian singer and actor Rotimi to take on Africa with his music.
Image: Supplied.

American-Nigerian actor Rotimi aspires to use his music to bridge the gap between countries across the African continent.

The Nigerian actor, whose real name is Olurotimi Akinosho, is famous for his portrayal of Darius Morrison, a drug dealer in the hit series Boss, and Andre Coleman, a hot-headed young apprentice to Ghost on 50 Cent's Power.

While he is known as one of the immensely talented actors of our era, the In My Bed singer is excited to be leading a movement that not only showcases the rich sounds of Africa but also promotes greater unity among Africans.

The 36-year-old heartthrob recently released a new song titled Sade featuring Nasty C and Nigeria's Mayorkun. He believes the collaboration is bringing together Nigerians, South Africans and other African Americans.

“As a Nigerian, I’ve always loved the infectious rhythms of the beat, the melodies and the harmonies. Music would just lead me and would come out so naturally,” said the US-based singer.

“Seeing that I am a big fan of Mayorkun, I knew I had to reach out to him and ask if he could hop on this song. I then went into the legend himself, Nasty C’s DM, to check if he'd be keen to join us on the song. 

“Unfortunately, we weren’t in the studio together. We recorded separately from various parts of the world. Mayorkun was in London, Nasty C was in SA, and I was in the States. I just told them, let’s just put it together so that we can get to schedule the video shoot quicker.”

Image: Supplied.

The father of Tanzanian-born Vanessa Mdee's two children was born in Maplewood, New Jersey, to a Nigerian family of Yoruba heritage.

While music is referred to as the rhythm of the nation, Rotimi recalls being one of the first artists to introduce Afrobeats to Americans back in 2019. 

“I feel that I have the responsibility to say, “What’s going on here because these two places don’t see eye to eye. Hence I made it my purpose to bring peace with my music.”

The former Imperial Dreams actor has plans to visit SA this year and hopes to collaborate with more local artists. 

“I can’t wait to come there and immerse myself in the fashion, the music and food. I’ve heard that the dancing scene there is amazing… So, you can imagine my excitement,” he said.

“Coming there to me means that I’ll get to show people how powerful Africa is and that we’re the richest continent. Once we understand who we are and act accordingly, without victimising ourselves, we’ll be able to see that we’re the kings and queens of the world… and everything will continue to grow and amplify.” 

With an acting career spanning over a decade, Rotimi shared a message to his younger self saying: “Be easy and kind on yourself. You don’t have to try to be something that you’re not. You’re enough.” 

The multi-hyphenate singer hopes to be remembered for his love for God and kind demeanour, as well how he cemented his place as one of the most gifted individuals to ever walk the earth.

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