Five For Africa

Alicia Keys said her first trip to Africa changed her life. So much that she’s returning to the continent and taking five people with her.

Keys and her charity – Keep A Child Alive – are giving five people the opportunity to visit Africa in a contest originally scheduled to be announced tonight during her performance at New York’s Nokia Theatre Times Square.

The concert, which coincides with World AIDS Day, will be streamed live on YouTube.

Photo: AP Photo
NBC "Today" Show, New York City

“I was probably like 19 or something. I was asked to come to Africa to perform, and so you think, ‘I’m just the girl from Harlem, I wrote a couple of songs on 137th Street, and then suddenly you want me to come to Africa? And people will know me? And people will know the songs?’ It was a mind-blowing experience for me,” Keys said.

“I was able to see the great separation between have and have not. I was able to see the incredible spirit of people. I was able to learn firsthand about the AIDS pandemic of Africa.”

You can register for the contest at the Keep A Child Alive Web site, or by sending a text. Texting will cost you five dollars with the money going to the charity.

Keys said the five winners will travel with her to Africa sometime next year.

“Some will probably not want to come back, some will totally want to stay so that they can be a part of just all this beauty that we’re spreading and light that we’re spreading. And some will come back and say, ‘I’ll never turn my back,’ which is what happened to me,” Keys said.

Click here for the Keep A Child Alive Web site.

Click here for the Alicia Keys Web site.