Thursday, October 05, 2006

Malawi pulls the old switchero

A couple months ago an ad campaign which featured Western celebrities such as David Bowie, Richard Gere and Alicia Keys proclaiming themselves "African" was launched.

It was universally mocked.
Gwyneth Paltrow bore the brunt of the scorn for this photo.

I can see why. A little blue paint and some beads does not an African make. Although if she had given herself AIDS or gone through a period of malnourishment her Nubian roots wouldn't have been so easy to dismiss.

Plus the ads are confusing. I'm just going to assume they are for a charity and not a threat to recolonize the dark continent with actors and singers.

The campaign also seems to have confused Malawi. When Gwyneth's good friend Madonna paid the African nation a visit yesterday its government announced The Material Girl had agreed to adopt one of their many AIDS orphans. Even though Malawi doesn't usually permit foreigners to adopt its citizens a lineup of twelve orphans was prepared for Madonna to chose from.

And why not? We are all Africans and other celebrities proved it by adopting.

Madonna's "mystified" representatives
dismissed the claims Madge was planning on returning home with a little black bundle of joy as "completely inaccurate" and a "bizarre hoax."

It sounds to me like an African nation is using a Western celebrity for publicity.

Completely inappropriate.

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