20 April, 2012

Joseph Kony, 'Celebrities', the West and Profits

It is interesting and yet, very pathetic and disgusting to see how not only countries around the world make news and profits from Africa's misery. Case in point is that of one of the most cruel, most merciless and most brutal man Africa has ever known: Joesph Kony. To make news, news medias - especially in Western countries, continue to give this most evil of men, headlines and coverage; many times, in very insensitive, very annoying and very hurtful ways. Even sadder and vexatious, is that some of the so called humanitarian NGOs are a part of this profiting using Kony and Africa's tragedies.

Not to be left behind, are the so called 'celebrities'. 'Celebrities' who, in most cases, for one selfish, self centered reason or another - we many times read about or watch - 'campaigning' or 'protesting' or 'demonstrating' or 'speaking out' for one African cause or another. 'Celebrities' who have no knowledge or education or sensitivity on/for Africa. Apparently, it is chic for 'celebrities' to 'care' for Africa - from Madonna to Lady Gaga, from Bono to George Clooney; the list is long. In almost all cases, more attention is given on these 'celebrities' than on Africa and its many problems. In most cases, these 'celebrities' only end up making names and profits for themselves; and only manage to distract people from Africa's main issues, needs and  miseries.

Those who read and watch the news know very well how much attention is given to Madonna visiting Malawi or 'adopting' a Malawian than it is given on that country's many problems; even the recent inauguration of Malawi's first female president and the only second woman to lead a country in Africa - received very little coverage; but, let Madonna land in Malawi and start performing, and all lenses are focused on her. As for George Clooney and his regular theatrics on Sudan, it is he who mainly gets complete, regular attention and not the pressing issues back in that country. Not much attention is given on the millions of suffering Sudanese. Right now, there is an exodus of tens of thousands of Southern Sudanese moving back south - moving back to a very poor, unstable country, with almost nothing with them and to start from scratch; but we see more of Clooney and his antics than this mass migration and the extreme distress that goes with it.

Incidentally: how come we do not see Indian or other Asian 'celebrities' getting involved in such ways with Africa? How come, too, these Western 'celebrities' aren't as fervently campaigning or outspoken for pressing issues for the many marginalized, miserable Australian Aborigines or Native Americans or African Americans?

As for Joseph Kony, his last name is never pronounced right on news broadcast out side Uganda. World medias, Western ones in particular - should stop using this monstrous man to make news and profit. So called NGOs should stop using him to raise so called awareness which interprets in to funds which means profits for these so called 'humanitarian' organizations. There are much better, much kinder, more noble and more honorable ways of boosting debates, awareness and action on Africa's many needs and of assisting the people of the continent with their many problems.

Photo: Google Images

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