Have you ever wondered how North Americans must sound to Africans? Many of us try to help the cause against aids and starvation and genocide and other things we see and hear and think are going on over there. We raise up heroes like Bono and Geldof, forerunners and leaders in the fight to change Africa.
But has it ever occurred to you that for all of our effort, strategy and hype, we are actually insulting Africans?
In 1984 Geldof pulled together some of the worlds most talented voices to sing a catchy song titled, “Do They Know It’s Christmas” and recently, according to Hayibo.com, a talented group of African musicians and singers pulled together to write a song of their own titled, “Yes We Do”.
The opening line of the article reads, “After 28 years of silently tolerating it”. They “tolerated” Band Aid’s s article ong that was created and used (still to this day) to help feed Africa. Some people might see this as sort of a biting of the hand that feeds you. But they don’t seem to see it that way. Rather they seem to see Band Aid (for all the good they do) as patronizing and dehumanizing. The composer of the new African song, Gundane, said:
“Or was he just saying that Africans were stupid? Of course we knew it was Christmas… Just because we don’t have Boney M or Christmas advertising in September doesn’t mean we are oblivious to it.”
The article goes on:
When asked why the ensemble of African musicians, who have called themselves Plaster Cast, had taken so long to come up with a response to the Band Aid song Gundane said it had taken a while for them to realise that it wasn’t actually an elaborate joke.
“We kept waiting for them to laugh,” he said, “But the punch-line never arrived.”
Gundane said he hoped that his involvement with the song would turn him into an expert on British politics and economics in the same way ‘Do they know it’s Christmas’ had turned Geldof and Bono into the world’s leading experts on Africa.
“If I’m not sharing a platform with the Queen and David Cameron by this time next year; or headlining at Glastonbury, then I will have done something very wrong,” said Gundane.
I still have not heard the song, but look forward to doing so.