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Ex President Ali Bongo’s Push to Make Libreville a Music Hub                            

There is a deep love for music that runs through the Bongo family but it is their fascination with western pop music, and a willingness to use the immense resources of their oil-rich nation to bring these global superstars to one of Africa’s smallest countries, which sets them apart. And it didn’t stop just at buying the attention of these pop stars — they also hired them to help make their own music. None of this was ever cheap of course, and it’s easy to see how millions of dollars were likely spent on American artists who were delighted to go to ‘Africa’ until they were criticized for supporting a dictatorship. It’s why there was such an outpouring of unbridled joy on the streets of Libreville when news of the coup broke and even celebrated in other African countries with long-running leaders. African social media does have one last twist for Ali Bongo’s musical career, turning his video plea for help from the international community into a TikTok meme called “Make Noise.”