Man plays Toto's Africa on a sweet potato and a butternut squash

Over the last few years, Toto's Africa has developed a new life beyond its already exulted place in the rock canon. It's been a hit for Weezer, been played all night to raise money for a charity in Malawi, and been turned into the most infuriating piece of music ever.*

Hell, just earlier today, news broke that a solar-powered sound installation which plays the song on a perpetual loop has been installed in the Namibian desert. 

As this trend shows no sign of slowing down, Finnish ocarina maker Toni Patanen has gleefully raised the bar by performing the 1982 hit on a sweet potato and a butternut squash. Patanen released the video last week, and it has gone on to be viewed more than two million times in the days since. 

"I make ocarinas, real ceramic ones, and from stupid things such as potatoes," says Patanen. "The irony of playing Africa with food is incredible. To make up for it,  please go help out some people after watching this video."

*There’s also a video which features footage of an empty shopping centre as Africa plays in the background. Nothing actually happens over the course of the clip, but it’s attracted close to two million views. Then there’s the heavy metal cover version which has been watched 32 million times. And there's a cover by The Floppotron, in which 64 floppy disc drives, eight hard drives and a two scanners are programmed to play the notes that make up the song, with it all sequenced to re-imagine Africa as as series of mechanical bleeps and screeches. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.