'Froze my brain up in Canada:' Chilly Manitoba musician parodies Toto's 'Africa' - InfoNews

Current Conditions


'Froze my brain up in Canada:' Chilly Manitoba musician parodies Toto's 'Africa'

Robert Thiessen, right, and his brother-in-law Joe Kaonga perform the parody video of Toto's 'Africa' about Manitoba's winter in Oak Lake, Man., in a December 2017 still image made from video footage.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-YouTube, Prairie Joe
January 03, 2018 - 6:00 AM

OAK LAKE, Man. - It's as if Canadian hosers Bob and Doug McKenzie did a mash-up with Weird Al Yankovic.

Rob Thiessen, an occupational therapist and part-time musician from Oak Lake, Man., and his brother-in-law Joe Kaonga have released a music video parody of the '80s song "Africa" by U.S. rock band Toto.

The new version about Manitoba's recent bone-numbing temperatures had attracted 171,000 views as of early Tuesday afternoon on Thiessen's Facebook page.

"Hey! We're coming to you from Manitoba, Canada, where it is cold outside tonight," says Thiessen, who is wearing a parka and a winter hat with earflaps, as he sits in front of a crackling outdoor fire.

"I'm here with my brother-in-law Joe who is originally from?"

"Zambia," chimes in Kaonga.

"You'll get used to it said no one ever," says Thiessen.

"This cold snap has been just ridiculous and getting way too long. I was recently learning the 'Africa' song by Toto ... and had the song in my head, and was looking out the window at the bitter cold, and kind of feeling miserable. The words just came to me: 'I froze my brain up in Canada,'" Thiessen, 36, explained in a telephone interview.

"I love being a Canadian and the cold is part of who we are, right? I'm happy to share that around."

The music video includes the two men playing snow volleyball in their shirt sleeves, Thiessen sticking his tongue on a cold metal pole and him using jumper cables to jump-start a seemingly frozen Kaonga.

"It's -50 with the wind chill tonight. They say it's colder here than in the south or even in the North Pole," sings Thiessen.

To add to the Canadian authenticity, the song's drumming involves Kaonga tapping away on a Tim Hortons coffee cup.

"All it is (is) a Tim Hortons coffee cup, a guitar and then our vocals," Thiessen said in the interview.

It's not his first attempt at parody. When a blizzard knocked out power to his house last year, he wrote and performed a version of George Harrison's "Here Comes the Sun" — except Thiessen's version was called "We Need the Sun."

"I don't know if you'd say I'm enjoying it much, but more like it's a responsibility to try to do my part with what I can to keep people cheered up," he said.

"I recognize fame is fleeting."

Find the parody on the web: 

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

  • Popular vernon News
  • Comments
  • North Okanagan homeowner shot in rural break and enter
    FALKLAND - A man was taken to hospital with a gunshot wound to his leg after a break and enter at his rural property turned violent, police say. The man returned to his rural Falkland proper
  • Three accused in Hope murder appear in Kelowna court
    KELOWNA – Three men are due in Kelowna court charged in a murder that happened in Hope last April. Ryan James Watt, 26, Joshua Albert Fleurant, 20, and Jared Paul Jorgenson, 27, have b
  • Parents arrested after 13 children found chained in house
    PERRIS, Calif. - A 17-year-old girl called police after escaping from her family's home where she and her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions, some so malnourished offi
  • UPDATE: One dead in Highway 97A collision near Armstrong
    VERNON - A crash between a semi truck and a car claimed a life this morning on Highway 97A, near Armstrong.  Police say the crash, which happened Tuesday morning at roughly 11 a.m. just
  • Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan dead at 46
    LONDON - Dolores O'Riordan, lead singer of Irish band The Cranberries, died suddenly on Monday. She was 46. O'Riordan died in London, where she was recording, publicist Lindsey Holme
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile