Band Aid 30! Africa, Stand UP!

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Whenever there is some sort of epidemic such as Ebola in Africa, western charities raise money to help people who are affected by the epidemic that may have left innocent children without parents or family relatives. Most charities do exactly what they say they will do, but some look as if they are taking advantage of such situations in Africa.

I heard about Sir Bob Geldof’s Band Aid 30 project to raise awareness and money for the cause. However, I felt this would speak volumes if African artistes from ‘Ebola affected areas’ participated in the single. I sent numerous emails to his team and the PR company of Band Aid 30 expressing how I felt the song will have much more impact if African musicians were included in their star-studded line up. There was no response not even an acknowledgement that they received my emails. I also made few calls to the PR company and was told, “they didn’t see my email” and was asked to resend it, which I did. Maybe I will get a response, probably next Christmas.

However my sentiment remains, how can they do something of this magnitude without involving people from affected areas? It’s like Remembrance Day without veterans or the families of dead soldiers who fought for us, ‘Children in Need’ without children or Children’s Day in Africa without the children.

I felt the Band Aid 30 single is all about money, turning Africa’s epidemic into another “Cash Cow” because every artist on the singles project can donate their money just as they are expecting the nation to donate. The single is all about being No1 for Christmas chart.

Ebola began in Guinea in December 2013 and spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone, why release the singles now, close to Christmas?

Simon Cowell was recently quoted in Metro Newspaper saying, that one battle he would be happy to lose is the fight for Christmas No.1 this year. He said, he would be gracious in defeat if Sir Bob Geldof’s star-studded Band Aid 30 Christmas charity single kept the eventual X Factor winner off. ‘I mean, how do you expect me to feel?’

When I emailed the PR of the project, I didn’t know the content of the lyrics of the song, but Fuse ODG was right to not be apart of the Band Aid 30 project because the lyrics didn’t reflect the present Africa. Fuse ODG tweeted, “Big up Sir Bob Geldof & his heart, He approached me about being on the Band Aid song, however upon receiving the proposed lyrics i was shocked to say the least.

I felt the message of the Band Aid 30 song was not in line with the message of This Is New Africa movement (TINA). After some consideration, I spoke with Geldof and informed him I would be unable to attend the studio session…, Sir Bob Geldof respectfully acknowledged my decision. #ThisIsNewAfrica #TINA”

According to Bryony Gordon, a writer for The Telegraph, she said she, “wonders why, when it comes to charity, the rich and famous donate their precious time while the rest of us must donate our money, This is as condescending as the song itself – do Africans know it’s Christmas? Given that over 500 million people living there are Christians, we must presume the answer to that is yes – and worse, it is a form of bullying that has sneeringly been dressed up as do-gooding”. She went on to say, “Sir Bob Geldof worth an estimated £32 million,  a man who is said to use tax avoidance schemes (it is telling that when a journalist asked him two years ago how much tax he paid, Geldof exploded at her, saying: ‘My time? Is that not a tax?’ Well, no, Bob, it isn’t). “

It’s high time for more African’s to stand up and be counted, we need to start to work as one family with one voice to support our own people. We shouldn’t wait for western government or charities to always come to our aid. There are local and multi-national companies making huge revenue in Africa, it’s time they are socially responsible.  Henry Ford said “coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” Ifeanyi Onuoha said “Teamwork is the secret that makes common people achieve uncommon results”

Written by Michael Tubes.

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