It appears many Africans are tired of the way westerners portray Africa as poor, helpless, and disease stricken, especially the way many organizations rally themselves in the name of helping Africa based on “good” intentions instead of real needs. To demonstrate how Africans feel when portrayed as poor and helpless, this group of African-Norwegian singers made a video to show what it would look like if the tables were turned.
Just in time for the holidays, the group calling itself Radi-Aid, launched an appeal for Africans to donate their radiators, so that they would be shipped to Norway to make people there warm. Their cause is the plight of freezing children during Norway’s harsh winter months. The song is modeled after other charity campaign songs by westerners, like “USA Africa,” and “We Are The World For Haiti.”
Some people might miss the satire, but these people are not playing around. Their effort is a serious critique of misguided development, and of the Western media coverage which often accompanies it.
What they want:
1. Fundraising should not be based on exploiting stereotypes.
2. We want better information about what is going on in the world, in schools, in TV and media.
3. Media: Show respect.
4. Aid must be based on real needs, not “good” intentions.
It looks like we’re not the only ones to be fed up with poor spokesmen and seriously misguided aid efforts.
We hope readers take the time to educate themselves on pressing issues in Norway. Because it is really cold there folks, but it’s also entirely lovely. And put the song on repeat.