Angelina Jolie-Pitt in Namibia.
Alyssa Milano in Angola.
Ashley Judd in Madagascar.
Bono in Tanzania.
Clay Aiken in Uganda. (!)
Charlize Theron in Botswana.
Chris Martin-Gwyneth Palthrow in Ghana.
Don Cheadle in Rwanda.
George Clooney in Sudan.
Jay-Z and Beyonce Knowles in S. Africa.
Jessica Simpson and Lindsay Lohan in Kenya (to come ?).
Lucy Liu in lesotho.
Madonna in malawi (to come).
Matt Damon in Zambia.
Melinda and Bill Gates in Senegal.
Natalia Imbruglia in Ethiopia. (and much more...)
OK, you get the point: Africa is the new Bahamas. It's getting increasingly difficult to name an african country that has not been visited by a celebrity. Quite a change from 10 years ago, I would say. Of course, there are plenty of critics for this sudden intetrest in the plight of Africa from the hollywood folks ( for example: PR (Public Relation) moves, guilt from having too much, ineffectivenessof the aid, no follow-up...) and the danger that the interest might be fading when the lights go down.
So will it last and why Africa ? Here are a few interesting points by an article in the new York Times about the rising interest in the US in helping Africa.
"We had this sudden awareness that there were all these people out there who hated us, and we needed people who, as far as we know, don’t hate us, and are in great need and we can help,” Professor Easterly said. “It’s the perfect meeting of needs — an intersection where we need Africa and Africa needs us.” [...]
"To build a hospital, the tangible evidence of where your money is going is very satisfying,’’ said Susan Konig, an organizer of the event. She added, “It was not some amorphous thing, but a tangible cinderblock building where in Tanzania people can get their eyes checked, receive AIDS medication, they can get pregnancy care.’’ [...]“They want,” Dr. Ellis said, to “have a sense of ‘we’ve left something, we’ve done something.’ ”
Africa is one way celebrities can transform an unprecedented level of scrutiny into their lives into something productive.And for many, at a time when the United States is divided into red and blue, for and against, cease-fire and bombs away, the seemingly unambiguous nature of Africa’s needs can be unifying.
Final words by Mia Farrow: "there are certain inactions that are inexcusable. You’ve got to stand with what you believe in. I just wish I could be more famous, or more powerful, so that my voice would carry further when I speak about Darfur.”
It will be interesting to folow how it will all play out. I think it will last longer than the article predicts:"“Just like a trendy restaurant lasts 18 month, so will interest in Africa.”But the slow pace of concrete change and sometimes helplessness will eventually defeat most donators.