A new spoof charity music video is raising as many eyebrows as it is smiles. ‘Africa for Norway’ is a parody of initiatives such as Band Aid, which bring together pop stars to help out the poor, starving Africans. This version has Africa helping out the freezing citizens of a wintry Norway.
By Cíntia Taylor
“People don’t ignore starving people, so why should we ignore cold people? Frostbite kills too.” That’s what lead rapper Breezy V says before he and his team break into song, imploring Africans to support the RADI-AID campaign. Its mission: help freezing Norwegians by donating a radiator today!
To learn more about the thinking behind the video's creation, RNW spoke to iKind’s Devin Carter, the 27-year-old South African who produced it.
What did you think when you first heard about the project?
“Most of my time during the production was actually spent explaining why we were going to film people running around collecting radiators for cold Norwegians. To be honest, when I first heard the concept...I thought: ‘This is a bit confusing for me. I’m not sure how Europeans are going to take it. I’m not sure how Africans are going to take it.’ I could see the humour and the merit in it. And as it came together, I could see that it actually worked as a concept.”
You’ve kept a serious tone throughout the video. Was that on purpose?
“Well yes, it kind of was... before we even started shooting it, we discussed a lot of things. We planned scenes where they meet a Norwegian person and hand them a blanket, and we actually filmed some of these scenes. And we filmed a couple of other scenes in the studio that were a bit more slapstick or spoofy. Once I understood the project more, I actually decided to edit those scenes out because obviously it works best if it seems realistic...The fact that it comes across as serious and realistic has fooled a lot of people into thinking that it’s a real thing. It’s the most interesting thing about it.”
What do you think this video might accomplish?
“What I hope to accomplish is what they [the group that commissioned the video, Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund ] have highlighted on their webpage: to increase awareness for people around the world about giving aid to Africa. A lot of people see images in charity videos and are drawn to make donations. But what SAIH is trying to point out is that Africa is not this place where there’s just this one donation thing that you can make to feel good about yourself.”
“There’s actually development here. There are projects that need funding and could be really amazing if you took them seriously and realized that there’s actually potential here... But because of the way it’s often treated in the media, a lot of people just think: ‘Let me support a starving child, give them five dollars or whatever.’ And maybe if it [development] was highlighted more, maybe there would be some kind of change in supporting development in Africa.”