Saturday, October 29, 2005

On Western Super Stars Helping the Poor in Africa


Do stars really aid the cause?
You bought the wristband, went to the concert, joined the march and rejoiced when a deal was struck to save Africa. But don't be fooled - nothing has changed
By Stuart Hodkinson reports
Published: 26 October 2005

I read the report just published on THE INDEPENDENT On Line Edition of 29 October 2005 10:42. And it is the subject of discussion on Black Looks. I have already posted my rejoinder and here is the full text of it.

Most NGOs are always in dire need of funds for their various humanitarian engagements. And all these efforts are commendable. And they need the endorsements of rich celebrities and most of the rich celebrities are not in Africa. They are in America and Europe. Sir Bob Geldof can donate $1 million with or without Band Aid. Bono can do the same.Recently Jon Bon Jovi donated $1 million to Oprah Winfrey's charity fund without any charity concert. But most of the so called African celebrities either don't have such financial wealth or they don't even have the hearts to give to Aid Agencies.

They have not even done anything for the less privileged in the ghettos where they came from. In Nigeria, when I was with the Unicef, we mobilized our own local stars (names witheld)and we hosted them at the Lagos Sheraton and they ate and drank. But, they hardly donated any money from their pockets. They just wanted to be recognised and to be posing and posturing about.


Must we always wait for Sir Bob Geldof, Bono, Angelina Jolie and other Western super stars before we realize that we should help ouselves in Africa? And when they don't include us in their Band Aid 1985 or Live Aid 2005,we pine and wine of discrimination or being left out?
Who is fooling whom?

Look at our rich stars like KSA and others who have made so much money from public patronage. What have they given back to their fans in return? KSA lived for decades in Bariga, a ghetto in Lagos, and he never even donated any funds to sink an ordinary borehole.


Charity begins at home.

Let us sacrifice to help and save those who are suffering and dying in Africa instead of waiting for Western Aid Agencies to come and spoonfeed us in Africa.

Personally, I have spent thousands of Naira to promote an active reading culture among children in Nigeria and the fellow artistes I invited to join me, collected their artistes' fees, without any compassion. One of them even dealt me some blows and snarled, "Na Charity we go chop!" And they just went about their selfish pursuits.

We have Shade Adu, Seal, Keziah Jones and other celebrated international super stars with Nigerian origins, but none of them has ever thought of doing what Sir Bob Geldof, Bono,Angelina Jolie and other American and European super stars are doing for the benefit of Africa.

Infact, I think most of our so called African super stars are intellectual morons and retarded. Clueless.

My conclusion is, we don't have to wait for any wake-up call by Sir.Bob Geldof or Bono before we know that we need to rally for the support of those who can help us in Africa. All our so called millionaires and billionaires in Africa can sponsor African artistes to organize Charity concerts to raise more funds and raise public awareness on being our brothers keepers. Africans have more than enough resources to help fellow Africans without Western Aid in cash or kind.

Sir Bob Geldof, Bono and other Western super stars mean well. But, these Western political power brokers and capitalist multinationals hijack their philanthropic initiatives in the guise of sponsorships and use them for their public relations, image laundering and social marketing of their numerous products and services in Africa their dumping ground for expired or second hand goods and the largest market for their mass produced consumer products.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Good post! I always wonder about this sort of thing.