Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

The legacy of the ‘German Bob Geldof of development aid’

Austrian actor and founder of the NGO ‘Menschen für Menschen’ (People for People), Karlheinz Böhm was buried last Friday in Salzburg, Austria. His remains came to rest in a cemetery in his native country yet earth from Africa was carried to Europe in order to allow him to rest in Ethiopian soil as he had

Friday, December 21st, 2012

The Trouble with “The Trouble with Aid”

“And the world weeps with them…”, narrates the solemn 70s commentator over images of children in Biafra, bloated by kwashiorkor. These are the opening shots of the documentary film, The Trouble With Aid, which screened on the...

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Oprah and Kristof: What don’t they have in common?

In the first sentence of my recent essay in Harvard’s Transition Magazine, I declared that I did not want to write about Nicholas Kristof because his writing was boringly predictable. But I also did not want to write about...

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Ne-Yo trying to adopt “African children”

In this video, about a week old, American R&B singer Ne-Yo (if you don’t know who he is) tells VLAD-TV (definition: “the TMZ of hip hop”) that his wife is a “bleeding heart.”

Friday, February 10th, 2012

50 Cent goes to Somalia

So rapper 50 Cent (accompanied by American journalists) was in Somalia and Kenya this week to visit people living in refugee camps displaced by the civil war with Islamic militants. Expect lots of ’50 in Somalia’ reports...

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Gimme Hope

This is the second in a video campaign to promote the work of American ngo Mama Hope. They work with local partners in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Uganda to fund the completion of schools, health clinics, children’s centers, clean...

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Amber Rose went to Ghana

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

50 Cent Wants to Help Africa

Remember when rapper 50 Cent announced that he would try to provide 1 billion meals over the next five years to poor Africans? His strategy: make some money while “helping” Africans. Watch the video. With every shot...

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Clooney in Africa

The media buzz (including blogging, tumbling and retweeting, as well as Facebooking) around Newsweek magazine’s ridiculous cover story of film actor George Clooney (title: “On the ground with a new kind of statesman”) highlight the titilating; i.e. Clooney’s...

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

‘Haiti in Africa’

Sketch by the UK comedy sketch group, “The Unexpected Items,” filmed in front of the School of Oriental and African Studies (yes, that still what it’s called). H/T: Konwomyn.

Sunday, December 12th, 2010

Blinded by Red Ribbons

And what has Mr. Bono been doing lately? Here he is, frolicking with a gala-flawless red satin ribbon. (Caption:”U2 front man, Bono, middle, poses with fellow band member, The Edge, left, Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard, right,...

Friday, July 16th, 2010

‘Enjoy Poverty': Interview with Renzo Martens

A still from “Episode 3″ of Martens’ “Enjoy Poverty” Project. Joe Penney, Guest Blogger “It is now widely acknowledged that Africa, as an idea, a concept, has historically served, and continues to serve, as a polemical argument...

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Making A Difference in Africa

A scene from the new HBO series, “How to Make it in America,” about a group of (mainly male) friends trying to make it in New York City (think a downscale “Entourage”). In this scene,...

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Playground Politics

From Funny or Die, the new HBO sketch comedy series. HT: Adam Esrig

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

Something About Clean Water

A group of celebrities (among them Jessica Biel, Lupe Fiasco and Santigold) decided to climb to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise awareness about the global clean water crisis.  Okay, so they’re a group of B-List...

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Africa at Sundance

There’s only film this year with an Africa-related theme in the official competition at the Sundance Film Festival: director Jennifer Arnold‘s documentary film, “A Small Act.” Then there’s a special African shorts presentation. A friend who played...

Saturday, September 5th, 2009


Excerpts from author Alex Halperin’s contribution in the latest issue of lit magazine, “n+1″: The safer parts of Africa have become a workshop for high-concept philanthropy, wrapping adventurism in a veneer of charity. Young Americans bring yarn...

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Betting on Africa

These celebrities want to gamble and hang out. So they say they want to save Africans.