Wednesday, August 16, 2006
As much as it may be politically incorrect to say it,
Africa – with all the genocide, poverty, war, illness, disease, and close-ups of grief-stricken children – for lack of a better word, is hot. Angelina Jolie had her baby in . Gwyneth Paltrow is the face of a new Namibia Africa ad campaign. Lindsay Lohan apparently wants to go to . And Rauz, Samar, and I recently traveled to Kenya (hardly surprising, since, after all, I have always known how to spot a trend). Let’s take other places and compare them. South Africa Europe: too developed. Middle East: too much politics. South America: not enough suffering. South-East Asia: so very last year (re: tsunami). Africa is not politically or morally polarizing. There is scandal (civil war, genocide, disease), celebrities motivated by different atrocities (see: Bono, Bill Gates and President Clinton, Don Cheadle), the college masses taking action, various organizations furthering awareness and support, and a clarity over what people should do (help the poor, alleviate the torment). As opposed to other places (i.e. Iraq), it is too easy to take differing sides, whereas for Africa, the only side anyone should embrace is to be a do-gooder and fix the problems that were started in the first place by non-Africans (and I don’t mean to be the self-interested American, but it doesn’t hurt that Africa is overflowing with certain natural resources). Africa needs us and we need Africa. But, hopefully, this trend, as opposed to the latest LA club or NYC restaurant, will last.