The reaction to Aylan Kurdi has been one giant selfie, a portrait of ourselves taken by people who remain conflicted about their identity, perturbed about their ethnic and religious minorities, and anxious about the future. Its about us, not them.
Here is my problem and also the problem of many voices in Africa and outside -- we are really dissatisfied with the way celebrities like you think that they can just wake up and decide to do things on the name of Africa.
Remember when you first heard "Roxanne"? I do. I was a child in a record store without a clue about the song's theme. Not sure I could've identified reggae, let alone purloined reggae. But I well recall my impression.
Over the years the struggle for human rights has had the benefit of some very captivating entertainers who have helped draw attention to the cause and raise funds for Amnesty's essential research and campaign work.
In the United States, he is mainly known for playing Lieutenant Werner in the critically acclaimed film Das Boot, not as a recording artist. That may change with the February 2012 release of his new album I Walk that features his international hit duet with Bono, "Mensch."
Watching this week's episode of "Glee" and seeing its rendition of the classic '80s charity song, "Do They Know It's Christmas," brought to mind the debacle that was Bob Geldof's last attempt at re-creating his Band Aid group.
It's more than a bit disconcerting to look at the low level of the African famine relief response -- especially when you've been around long enough to remember the 1984 Ethiopian famine and its massive tug on the hearts of the world.
As the riots in Mozambique demonstrate, growth, as a proxy for rising economic opportunity, is all very well. But economic development, especially if it is relatively job-poor, as in Mozambique, is not enough on its own.