“There exists a paternalistic way of thinking about Africa, likely exacerbated by the original (and the second, and the third) Band Aid singles, in which it must be “saved”, and usually from itself. We say ‘Africa’ in a way that we would never say ‘Europe’, or ‘Asia’. It’s easy to forget, for example, that the virus made its way to Nigeria – Africa’s most populous country and, for many, a potential Ebola tinderbox – and was stamped out only by the efforts of a brave team of local healthcare workers. The popular narrative always places those of us in the west in the position of benevolent elders, helping out poor Africans, mouths always needy and yawning, on their constantly blighted continent, and leaves out harder to pin down villains: local corruption, yes, but also global economic policies that do little to pull some countries out of the depths of entrenched poverty.”
As an American I’ve never understood why Bob Geldof is so famous in England. His music was godawful and his family crises all seemed like really deep and constant cries for help. And as mentioned, to fight ebola poorer African nations need money and supplies and expertise from richer ones (a la Nigeria), not a bunch of ego-monster White Knights hungry for camera time.
And honestly, it’s a proven scientific fact that world needs less Bono, not more.