Poto-Poto is a music campaign launched in 2006 by Plan, an international development agency working with children, and Artists United for African Rap (AURA), a network of African musicians working to positively effect change in Africa. The campaign involves a musical show and an album by popular hip-hop artists and seeks to raise awareness around children's rights and the challenges facing young people in Africa, specifically in West Africa.
Plan and AURA brought together hip-hop musicians to develop an album entitled "Les histoires extraordinaires des enfants du Poto-Poto" ("The Extraordinary Stories of the Poto-Poto Children") which forms the soundtrack for the live shows. Through the songs on the album, listeners meet the children who live or spend their days at the fictional Poto-Poto market. The children come from different backgrounds and cultures and tell their stories as they cross paths with each other and the adults in the market. Each rapper involved in the project plays the role of a particular child, from a child soldier to a girl forced into marriage to a spoiled, rich, problem-child. The songs they sing and the stories they tell deal with a wide range of child rights issues such as child prostitution, child beggars, child labour, and drug abuse.
One of the components of the project is a concert series where the songs are performed live across the West African region. The project also uses a multimedia approach. Along with the live staged performances of the musical and the album, the project includes video clips, a film of the musical, children's books, and a website. The first video clip is of the opening song and introduces viewers to the children of Poto-Poto. Click here to view the video.
Click here to download all the songs on the Poto Poto album.
Children, Rights, Youth.
According to the organisers, the single "Poto-Poto" reached first place in 2007 on the private television station Trace TV.
Plan, Artists United for African Rap (AURA).
Plan Children's Media website on July 10 2008.