Toto/WIUO – Africa (Chords)

Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra – Africa (Chords)

It really shouldn’t have taken a request I couldn’t turn down (they bribed me with a pizza) before I wrote this one up. It’s one of my favourite WIUO covers and definitely one of the funnest to play.

I’ve written up the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra’s version. It’s one fret lower than the Toto version but otherwise they’re very similar. So if you want to play along with the original slap a capo on the first fret.

If you’re playing by yourself it’s worth playing Gm instead of Gm7 (outside the Ab-Gm7-Cm move) otherwise the change between Gm7 and Bb get’s lost.

Suggested Strumming

The song is in 2/4 time. So this simple strum will get you most of the way through:

The trickiest bit of strumming comes in the Ab-G7m-Cm move which you can play like this:

I kept getting thrown by the Cm being in the middle of the bar. It feels like the start of a new bar. So if you’re as stupid as me it’s worth paying attention to the count in that part.

Twiddly Bits

I’ve included the tab for the little twiddly bit in the intro in the chord sheet. It’s made up of two parts. The top line (Uke 1) is the main one. So if you’ve just got one twiddling uke use that one.

And here’s my stab Age’s solo:

Africa Solo (Tab)

Buy the WIUO version
Buy the Toto version


Blue Smoke
Hey Ya
I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man
It’s a Heartache
Short People
The Bucket
The Israelites


View Comments


  1. pam July 31st, 2012 6:20 pm

    This is freakin’ great. Dayum.

    I can’t hear this song anymore without thinking of this absolute hatchet job on it by writer Steve Almond. It’s funny.

  2. Chris Q July 31st, 2012 9:18 pm

    There is no way on earth I could sing those notes… ooft.

  3. Woodshed August 1st, 2012 10:50 pm

    pam: I agree! And thanks for the link.

    Chris Q: I can’t sing any notes!

  4. Ben_H August 3rd, 2012 8:05 am

    And the strangest thing is that this was playing in Wilkinson’s on Monday and I thought that it might make a good Uke Club Tune.

    What are the chances of that?

  5. jeremy August 3rd, 2012 5:28 pm

    yeah with that i will be the king of the beach :) thank you

  6. Woodshed August 4th, 2012 6:42 pm

    Ben_H: Just more evidence of my psychic ukulele abilities!

    jeremy: You’re welcome. Have fun on the beach!

  7. Sean August 15th, 2012 8:30 pm

    I’m curious, what key is this song in?

  8. Woodshed August 17th, 2012 9:29 am

    Sean: Ab.

  9. Rohan September 18th, 2012 11:49 am

    do you play both the twiddly bit and the chords or do you have another ukulele playing it?

  10. Woodshed September 19th, 2012 9:43 am

    Rohan: If you’re really smart there might be a way to combine the two but they’re definitely meant to be played on a different ukulele.

Sorry, Comments Are Broken Right Now