Welcome to the library jungle

Why is a librarian featured in Toto’s song “Africa”?

This post started via a Facebook conversation from my husband:

Facebook post about Toto's Africa song
Facebook post about Toto’s Africa song

The song, “Africa,” from Toto’s 1982 album Toto IV, does indeed feature a librarian and a library/jungle setting. The plot seems to revolve around a man — played by lead singer David Paich — on the hunt for a book called “Africa.” There are multiple shots of the librarian, a woman of African descent, giving her very best “librarian glare” to the singer, whilst adjusting her spectacles amidst the usual library props of a wooden desk, book stamps, and bookcases.  The music video also includes shots of the band “jamming” on top of a stack of books. Both multicultural AND cultured, eh? 😉

Lyrics that might have inspired the library setting for the video include:

But she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation

I stopped an old man along the way / Hoping to find some old forgotten words or ancient melodies

Gonna take some time to do the things we never had

The Wikipedia entry for this song also included a quote that the idea for the song came from David Paich, about “… a white boy [who] is trying to write a song on Africa, but since he’s never been there, he can only tell what he’s seen on TV or remembers in the past.”

After watching this video, methinks the video came from the idea of a white man trying to film a music video in a library, but since he’s never been there, he can only tell what he’s seen on TV or remembers in the past. 😉

You can view the video here:

Toto – Africa (Official Music Video)” video uploaded by Toto Toto is licensed under a Standard YouTube license

Sources used:


Author: Jennifer

Librarian, blogger, movie lover

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