I first heard of Bob Geldof when I was in high school when I bumped into his autobiography, “Is That It” in our school library.
As a teenage boy, what first drew me to the book was what I can call its depravity, its naughtiness and a few lewd details.
However, what kept me glued to the book was his description of the Ethiopian drought and his efforts to raise money for that country.
At that point I admired him, he was my hero.
The minute details of how he had worked on Band Aid and Live Aid, left me in awe, here was someone, who was touched by the plight of people at a faraway place, who was motivated to help and who did something instead of just talking about it.
I had never heard the song, Do they know it’s Christmas, but I can imagine that when it was first recorded in 1984, it was a hit, it brought people together, it raised money, at least a few of Ethiopia’s starving masses would have something to eat.
Thirty years later, Geldof and his merry band are at it again, and like 30 years ago, they are still asking “Do they know it’s Christmas”?
While I think Bob Geldof’s heart is in the right place, (I hope it is), I feel the message with the latest single to raise money and awareness for Ebola is quite condescending and a tad out-dated.
While that strategy might have worked 30 years ago, I doubt it is relevant in for Africa and the modern world.
Yes, we know it is Christmas Geldof, thanks to Britain and Europe for colonisation, we adopted a religion that emphasises that holiday. Each year, we forget our miseries for a day and celebrate this annual fest.
While Ebola has been a nightmare for some countries in Africa, what Africa doesn’t need now is a condescending rock star with a white messianic complex, who believes rehashing a 30 year old song is what Africa needs right now.
It is more worrying to hear allegations that Geldof does not pay taxes, yet he wants to help a distant land, a clear definition of irony if you ever needed one.
Geldof’s latest effort reminds me of the Stop Kony 2012 video, another patronising and out of context effort to try and help
While stopping Ebola and Kony surely rate highly, it is not the place of people like Geldof to tell us how we should do it.
So, yes Bob, we know it is Christmas; you don’t need to keep reminding us.