Thursday, May 10, 2007

STARS GIVE BACK

Oh oh…it seems as though the hot post I promised will have to wait until next week.
Meanwhile, I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported bellanaija…. I hate to get all cheesy but I cant help it! Thanks for all the emails, comments etc….Much Luv!
Now back to business.
Sometime last year, I was having a conversation with my friend regarding how we should start doing more to give back to Nigeria…the conversation progressed to Nigerian stars and my friend remarked that she feels they do nothing to give back. Well, she was wrong! Late last year, I found out about the SAVE OUR CHILDREN - Orphanage Campaign Africa.
I love the whole concept and rest assured, I know that they are indeed making a difference.
I hate all the stereotypical pictures of African children looking hungry and gaunt but I see beauty in these photos because you can see the sparkle in the children’s eyes.

The idea was conceived and is coordinated by Matthew Mensah who I talked about last week. Here is what he had to say - “I came up with the idea after been involved with campaigns in West Africa for UN especially in Liberia and Sierra Leone and after I saw the terrible and shameful conditions many of these kids lives under. I started with helping orphans when doing campaigns in War-torn countries and then I put it as a mission that I had to make a difference for Orphans in every country I go to in Africa but after been doing events for orphanages in Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana and South Africa I decided it was time to do a campaign across Africa that would bring it to EVERYBODY's attention to how some of the future leaders of tomorrow are living and most importantly show that IT IS possible to make a change if we dedicate ourselves to it.
Most important is it to understand that we want people to get personally involved in Africa and for Africans in Diaspora to know that we are all responsible for the Kids of Africa and we cant let them go to waste like this WHEN there is something we can do about IT.


More about Child Hunger: http://www.fighthunger.org/ and http://www.catwalktheworld.com/

OMOTOLA IN LIBERIA








DAMON DASH & RACHEL ROY IN GHANA







RAMSEY IN SIERRA LEONE





I just find the whole thing inspiring. It might seem like a minor drop in the ocean but at least they are making a difference. I know 2Face and Stella Damasus are participating in future campaigns so watch out for the pics....
That’s it!Let us know what you think. Do you have any other ideas how African stars can give back? Let us know…..have a fab day!

53 comments:

Pink-satin said...

its a lie..i am first.heyyyyyyyyy...good to know these stars are giving back

Ms Zee said...

I hope the home starts give back at home too.. not just Liberia and the rest of Africa

Charity begins at home right??

After all that... This is good news.. I am happy and proud

In my head and around me said...

And I am second. I love what this is about. There will always be needy people and not enough people to help them all.

BTW: Matthew Mensah is beauty and a heart. Just saying!

Dimples said...

I'm 3rd...Gosh i'm such a saddo...
Conqur will Ms Zee all the way...it wouldn't be bad if they started with the poverty of Ajegunle...or the sufferings of the children of the Niger-Delta region...anyways i'm very excited shall return....

Totally loving Matthew Mensah's work...keep up the good work bro.

Dimples said...

Damn u "in my head...."..same time sha...u beat me to it...TOP 5 2wice then..so break that.

Chameleon said...

ms zee tooks the words out of my mouth. charity starts at home. 80% of nigerias population are one pay check away from poverty. the money they spent on flights, accomodation and entourage could have put into good use at home.

do u see sudanese celebrities fighting poverty in liberia.

this stinks of PR and Vanity.

typical of nigerians to copy copy...

Anonymous said...

I always seem to come at the 6th comment. The whole 1st jargon is dumb but okay I guess Im a 7th'er. Whats PR got to do with Liberia? I dont get it. I cant say I care either.

i will now go and read

Uzo said...

Poverty in Nigeria is political. I was working with local celebrities at some point last year and we had a massive food caravan as well as clothing, medication etc ready to roll out to a certain part of the country. Government officials got wind of it - then the demands began. Give us this, dont bring cameras, we want our wives sisters daughters to be on the board/come along, you must all pick this ankara supplied by my grandmother's village to wear...etc....We got so frustrated and just so pissed that we ended up sending the money and other things to a few orphanages and to Niger and Sudan via aid agencies...

abisade said...

@chemeleon. point taken but did you criticize Oprah for building her school in SA not the USA when some people criticized her for that? I dont think so.
Yes, there are people in need in Nigeria and I am sure campaigns in Nigeria are forthcoming but the situation in these countries are dire. They are war-torn with lots of refugees and just seeing a star like Omotola brings attention and helps raise funds. Whereas in Nigeria, 'we don see the stars tire' so no one will bat an eyelid.

My point is, think critically about these things, criticize as you please (as we Nigerians love to do) but you have to ask yourself. What have I done? Do something before knocking the efforts of others. P.S the person organzing the campaign isnt Nigerian

Chameleon said...

abisade... because i dont take pictures and post it on websites next to malnourished children please do not assume that i do nothing.

america is the richest most powerful nation in the world, oprah already pays her taxes and funds other projects within america. her school in SA is not open for criticism.

and please, lets not turn bella's post into a battlefield. direct your comments to the post.

7th'er said...

no, no, no, but you brought up a very stupid and ignorant point. Just objectively defend it. Common knowledge Liberia and SLeone is war torn. To compare to Nig is kinda selfish and heartless if you really think about it. ..I dont even want to think about it.

Anyway, you are an aristos run chick so whats the point. Mebbe you have personal beef with mensa I sure say he no send.

I say good job to the guys but the dumbest campaign was that in Ghana, how is ghana suffering? Still I wont speak on those onees because them no know the koko.
odigba!

Boma said...

www.luxng.com

naija_queen91 said...

i think dat its great dat naija celebs went to otha parts of A....IM SOOO PROUD..I LOVE OMO SEXY AND RAMSEY..I GREW UP WIT DEY MOVIES.....1LUV

omolabake said...

Whichever way it goes....as long as we doing something to alleviate poverty and unemployment in Africa as a whole...
It saddens my heart to see how pple with sound education can't find jobs to make decent living.

Anonymous said...

Wow Bella...I'm so touched. This post is really inspiring. It brought tears to my eyes. Its little things like this that make the world go round.
I've always wanted to do something similar. Well, i've started in my own little way. Its my passion & i'm working towards making a difference especially in Nigeria cos I luv my country.

Pls lets not go into silly arguments about what part of the world the most help is being rendered. Our primary concern shd be making a positive impact in the world we live in irrespective of our nationality or background. People r people wherever u go & we all have similar needs.
Poverty, hunger, starvation cannot be eradicated in a flash but if we all contribute we can make a difference.

So thanks to Matthew, Omotola, Ramsey&everyone else who's taken a similar initiative.

There's so much we can do in our lifetime. Nothing is too little. U can start by visiting charity organisations, Orphanages or u cd even establish ur own organisation & get sponsors. U'll be amazed by the num of lives u'll touch.

Ms I.

SET said...

AMAZING THIS IS JUST PURELY AMAZING. IT TOUCHES ME WHEN FORTUNATE FOLKS GIVE BACK. I THANK GOD FOR THEM

~Mimi~ said...

Its amazing and beautiful to see people give back and ikind of understand where dimples is coming from because there is poverty in nigeria too,there are hungry kids everywhere but those places are not as well of as Naij. Doesnt mean the kids in our own country don't suffer.It owuld be nice to see these stars giving back to their own country too (and if they already are, well done to them!)

the other thing that comes to mind is apart from Kanu, is there any other well known footballer who does charity work in naija?it would be good to know sha.But whether ur a star or not,it is always good to give back!!

~Mimi~ said...

oh no, i meant i kinda understand where chameleon is coming from..

Anonymous said...

i wonder why nigerians cannot just have an arguement or raise points without name calling or getting personal. kpakpando, if you are so bold to confront, why not sign in properly lets know who you are.

nwanaija24/7 said...

the stars are doing agood thing, but i also think they should have started from home( except they have and i dont know) cos there are so many people living in less than human conditions in naija and desperately need help. all that expense money could have fed a couple of hungry children for days.

Mrs Somebody said...

Hi bella nice post as usual.I think Jim Iyke is also doing some charity work in Sierra Leone.Julius Agwu the comedian gives back as well.He spends his birthday and Valentine's day with the kids of 'Heart of Gold' foundation every year.

MENSAH said...

I was told that our campaign had caused quite a few comments on this blog. I am happy it have, as one of the key things with the campaign is to create awareness and ofcourse improve the conditions for these children.

Unfortunately as it often happends in Africa we are not very good at celebrating our own. The Nigerian celebs that are part of this campaign are only a small group of African celebs that are involved, there is people from SA, Zambia, Uganda etc as well BUT it happends to be the Nigerian Stars that are most in demands.
We actually started with the Orphanage events in Nigeria including opening 2 new ones in Lagos ( Genevieve and Ramsey) BUT sadly the Nigerian Media dont always see it as very exciting news so you dont hear about it as much.
There is an organiation we work with called linkachild.org that have documented most of ALL proper Orphanages in Nigeria so people like many of you that are not in Nigeria can get involved too by sending money, books etc straight to the orphanage in question and without a thirdparty.

All orphans lives a very hard life but take orphans from the war in Sierra Leone who have had their hands cut off by rebels!They are just rotting away, one of their few pleasures in life is to watch Nigerian movies and meeting one of these stars is the happiest moment in their life... The same thing goes in Liberia, most of the orphans are a product of the war which means that they where a product of rape and nobody wants them and a high percentage have aids to give them some special moments in the short life many of them have should not be something that you should have to apologize for.

There is about 12000 Nigerian peacekeepers in Liberia, when we go there we also go and entertain the troops of whom many lost friends etc in the war. everybody would understand what it means to these soldiers to get a feeling that people back home are thinking about them.
Everybody involved are doing it for free and in many cases are giving up otherwise lucrative jobs to be part so I dont think its fair to say anything negative as these celebs try and furthermore are some of the best Ambassadors you could wish for across Africa.

Last year 40.000 Liberians came out to join Omotola in the Walk against Child Hunger in Liberia including The President. In Nigeria the year before 3500 joined the Walk!!

In rural Ghana, of which some are saying dont need charity, you have some of the biggest percentages of child slavery in Africa compared to the population.

After this weekends trip to Liberia we are doing something together with Mrs.George the founder of Little Saints Orphanage in lagos and EVERYBODY who would want to be invovled are more than welcome.

Charity is not supposed to be a occasion but a way of living and I am sure there is quite a few people coming back from UK, US etc for X- mas etc that have never even thought of bringing back some books, old clothes for an orphanage or let alone visiting one OR those like many of my friends who are Ok off and living in Nigeria but dont seem to think that it concerns them.

So many real differences could be made not only in Nigeria but across Africa if we where more proud and supportive of our fellow Africans achievements and not thinking that African aid should come from the Western world while we sit with our begging bowl stretched out!!

Ps: Thanks to Bella for supporting this campaign and to everybody who have posted nice comments, it really lifts one up to read.


Matthew Mensah

Anonymous said...

I have magnified one of the pictures and notice Matthew Mensah is married. I am so disappointed. I thought he was single. I am heart broken, I thought he was single, it at least gave me hope :lol - he is like my black Bono, i just love men who are all for philanthropic and charity work, it is so attractive and saids a lot about them. Anyway, let me dry my sorrows.

ps:Is his wife Ghanaian.?

His Wife is a Lucky Woman

Anonymous said...

Ohmigahd. I didnt know Matthew posted here. Matthew if you are reading this, I was the previous poster (Dissapointed in seeing you wearing a wedding band :lol)

On a serious note, I just want you know you are an inspiration not only to us ghanaians but to everybody. I love what you stand for and what you are doing for the underpriviledge, You inspire me to do something similar in the future when i return to ghana. I have visited the North part of ghana when i was home, and i think its one of the most negleted parts of Ghana and thus hope to do some charity stuff there someday - primarily teaching the women to be self sufficient, independent and entrepreneurs. Its a passion of mine and when i finally relocate to ghana next year, i will look you up. Thank you for doing this for all the underpriviledge children in africa. You are fighting for a good cause and to that - we say A BIG THANK YOU.

Dammie said...

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww *SNIFF*

Abi said...

I am the friend Bella was referring to and I m really glad that I was wrong. Really good to know that our stars are doing something outside of themselves...

It is really sad though that in a situation like this, all some of us can come with is negativity. At least they r doing something. Plus the issue of poverty is not one to be tackled by only the stars..All of us who have been privileged have the responsibility. And yes, someone said above they will always be poor people....yes they will be the Bible tells us that already but what did it all say? "Feed the hungry, clothe the naked"... The task was not for stars...It is our responsibility as human beings to live outside of ourselves..There's much to life than just helping yourself, ur family and friends..

It is so easy to help...some of u pass the girl down your street who is selling bread, pay a little more attention...the slippers on her feet may be terrible all you have to do is buy a pair and bless her...what stops us from even buying a bag of pure water that even we can't drink but people do....freezing it and giving one each time you drive passed a policeman? truly we all can do something no matter how little..

God bless your heart Matthew for doing what you do. I know you don't get much credit for it...given who you are I know you could have decided to do something else with your life or just enjoy life and not bother...but the fact that you would do this is amazing....I would really like to work with people like you when I do move back home...'cos I too have a passion for this...

Bella thanx for highlighting this issue...

Here's another link of regular nigerians like us helping orphaned children in Nigeria...
http://www.littledropsorphanagefund.org/

Please let's spread the word out and do what we can no matter how little and drop all the hate and unnecessary criticisms...if you have better suggestions as to how people can help say so rather than bring the few down who are trying.

Ok that's my two cents for today:)

Ms zee said...

@ Matthew's post: You say the media in Nigeria does not document charity events, I say we have a gazillion and one lifestyle shows and magazines in circulation at the moment and I have come across a few regarding charity work..

People are interested in giving back in Nigeria, you just need to tap into the right channels... 3500 people walked for hunger with Omotola becuase the news did not spread... were the streets and media flooded with this information? did the radios talk about it? did we have TV shows giving us the information? did you or your group put up packages that would sensitise the public??

I still say enough was not done and yes yes you all can have my head..

7th'er said...

^^I think some people are attention starved and need to go discover a life. [This should be quite obvious]

For the person that insinuated I am kpakpando. I am not her and she is not me. We share extremely similar views and I deeply admire her.. or her wit or something, but I am not dishing props cause I am her, because I have recently dosed her on her blog as well and she took it and cooked up a Good post! Kudos. Roll your eyes as you want. If you put unsolicited, aimless negativity out there it will tripleffold back your way.
All I can say is I am not my precious kpakpie!! lllolll [Im evven enjoying rubbing it in] Dont be mad youw ere called out for the runs chick you are. I dont mean to 'get personal' but na you put am comot for hintanet abi be ko?
Close your legs, & shut your trap ;=]

Let matthew keep making the world a better place for all!

koshie said...

I definitely agree with Uzo. Poverty in Africa; be it absolute or abject is as a result of political gluttony. Bedsides AIDS, it is the single most powerful weapon depopulating the continent. And our so called democratically elected dictators do not seem to care that much since they cannot risk loosing a penny of the country's millions going into their personal bank accounts. It is really sad. Take a good look at Prez Mugabe, living in a $10million mansion in a country where ordinary households have no access to power 20 hours a day. I mean, how do we intend on progressing socio-economically in the midst of all these adversities let alone, providing a meaningful future for our children.

I do applaud all those who go out of their way to bring smiles on faces of the have-nots. However, it’s about time our visionless leaders take on a much more responsible role with respect to poverty alleviation & its subsidiaries. Or else we will forever continue to see Africa’s trade mark on western television, however exaggerated it might be.

P.S how come Matthew is wearing a suite in a 35 degree climate.

Chameleon said...

lol... was that directed at me...?
ouch. it hurt.

hellish said...

these anons truly have time to be writing rubbish.

well done mr mensah for your efforts. i hope God will continue to bless and guide your path.

Bella, nice post as always.

ababoypart2 said...

Nice to see these guys giving back. Just hope this is not another ‘copy’. The likes of Dash have very deep pockets; the same can’t be said of my Nigerian brothers/sisters (£’s not =N=)

Still well done to them...

snazzy said...

People are entitled to their own opinions, but I must say that it is ridiculously hypocritical to say that the west is not doing enough for developing countries in one breath, and in the next castigate nigerians for trying to help out people less fortunte than them in other countries. Poverty knows no boundaries. If your resources can have more effect in another country then why shouldn't you send them to that country? Now all of you who think the "stars" are wrong should please join me in writing to Bill Gates. We want to tell him to stop spending money on malaria in Africa, because there are poor people in America that can still be helped. If we hurry the letter can be on his desk by tuesday.

Anyway, nice one Bella for putting the story up, and to Mr. Mensah for actually doing something other than seeing Blood Diamond and saying it's a shame.

Favoured Girl said...

Thanks for this post Bella.It's inspiring. It's good to see stars reaching out and helping the less fortunate. May God continue to enrich them. All of us can do our bit though, there are needy people all around us and so many projects and charities to support. If anyone wanted to really help, they won't have to look far.
I agree with what Uzo said about charity work in Nigeria being too political. I was at an fundraising event organised by the "Mercy Ships" charity (http://www.mercyships.org.uk) who do work all around Africa. I went to ask the speaker why they don't work in Nigeria, and she told me that the people in power wanted to make money from them, asking them to pay to come and do charity work in the country!! Can you imagine?

chimamanda said...

Good to see our people giving back. Oh, and to the anon in love with matthew mensah, he's not married. But he does have a serious girlfriend and she's NIGERIAN! Sorry, lol. Great guy though, we should all try to help.

BOBBY said...

Good job Mensah! Good job!

Kpakpando said...

Like uzo has said, you really can't do shit in Nigeria without interference, you'll be settling someone somehow and if you don't get frustrated out of helping, you'll cry seeing your money/aid go to someone's private "project."

It's commendable that these stars are willing to give up their private time and use their popularity for good, because I for one am tired of non-africans being the forerunners in this whole aid thing.

@7ther, just because Accra is doing well doesn't mean the rest of Ghana is up to par, please believe even just 30mins outside of Accra people are still suffering.

now Rachel Roy and Damon Dash (still in Jay-Z' shadow I see) leaves me a bit miffed. I'm tired of African aid projects and baby adoptions being the "trendy" thing to do. But Africans are responsible for us being in this position sha.

@ anon8:41, pls which anon comment was me? I'd like to know. You seem real pressed. :)

Cheetarah said...

Good on every1 taking part, the more celebs help endorse the more publicity the event will garner. We dont need Oprah to do it for us, People like Matt who are african and understand the problem have stepped in and all we have to do is help. Nice1

Lolita said...

Extremely proud of Omotola and Ramsey :)

Kudos, great representation of the spirit of giving....I love it!

Kpakpando said...

GASP!!! :o anon8:41 which kain yeye insult is that, I hope 7ther was just being overzealous assuming you thought she was me... MAN PIKIN DON SUFFA IN THE DA NAME OF INTANET OH. Am I really being mistaken for a chinch who uses the internet to harass people but rarely contribute anything to a conversation.

@cheetarah, u said what iw as thinking, perhaps better. I think Africans (no matter where from) understand the plight a bit better than a non-african celebrity ever can. I mean God bless Bono, but everytime I see him do something else for Africa, I get so angry... not at him, but at the fact that many Africans with the means just sit back and let us(collective Africans) be a source of pity. Talk about wasted talents.

Anonymous said...

i don't believe Matthew Mensah wrote that. Not that he cannot hear about you bella. but it must be some jobless person. i can understand one typo but hot damn, how many? plus grammatical errors. If it really is u, Matthew, I still think you're super HOT! but slow down next time when you are writing:-)

fannnnnnnnnnn said...

@anonymous, I know for a fact that it was him.
This is not an english class now. U know sometimes when you are passionate and heated about something you just gotta ignore the spellcheck.
Mr M.M
Keep up the good work.

Mona said...

great coverage lady! :o)

Anonymous said...

Kpakpando is it the anon that is pressed or you?

Areagal said...

anonymous 5:48 sharrap=zzzzzzzzzzip ur mouth. You are also sounding jobless who are u monitoring typos and all that mess. Sit dowon jare. Bella this is truly inspiring. Its the intention and effort that matters bcos some may not have the cash to do what we want but we can volunteer our time. I mean if we all really took a stand we could make such a difference. I commend Matthew for doing what hes doing, he sure will inspire others to do the same or follow. lol at all d gals wondering if d guy is married. Y'al are a hot damn mess!!! Bella gros bisous and all u typo people shoot me already ok..

Linda Ikeji said...

May God bless Matthew Mensah and everyone who has lifted a finger to help the poor.Amen!

Lola said...

I do thank God for people like Matthew Mensah.

However, for the people who are complaining about people not helping Nigeria. I just want you to sit down and think of what "YOU" have done for Nigeria. It doesn't always have to be money. You can give up your time. There is a spirit of volunteerism I don't necessarily see in Nigeria. It’s just not instilled in our upbringing. I remember in middle school I had to do at least 20hours of community service. I might be wrong but i don't hear about kids doing community service in Nigeria.

At the same time I don’t think it is right to judge anybody for not giving their hard earned cash to anybody. How many of us have watched those commercials on television that says for only $5 a month you can help an orphan. Do we actually do it? Think about it. If you can’t give $5 now you won’t give $50,000 when you have it. That’s just the plain truth.

So the point of all these is just to say everybody is guilty, (celebrity or no celebrity, Political or no Political.) for not helping in Nigeria. I know FILTHY rich Nigerians that own $10,000,000 mansions in the states that have not given back. So when Jay Z goes to Nigeria, yea its publicity but at least he did something. These people in need do not care why they’re doing it as long as it gets done.

My lil 2 cents, shey

TaureanMinx said...

Great Job Mr Mensah. It definitely inspires. May God continue to guide you

butterfliesandstars said...

Nice to know that our stars are giving back. Mayb they should add some more publicity so we would know what they are getting up to and support in whatever way we can.

kokolet said...

This is really 'inspiring' as bella put it, am so glad our stars are doin something to help...cos we Africans have to start solving our problems by ourselves and stop leaving the problem solving all the time to foriegners... am really delighted and hope others will follow in their foot steps...

Gloriababe said...

that's nice of her that's my country.

check my blog too

www.letsgossippeople.blogspot.com

Vera Ikeji said...

I am really glad that some fortunate people who have bn blessed financially and otherwise are giving to the less priviledged ones.
More priviledged people should follow suit.

Anonymous said...

Have worked with Matthew in a charity project...honestly the man has a heart of gold when it comes to helping society disadvantaged...the passion he upholds when it comes to orphans is amazing...I pray God guides him through and the he never tires from doing good.... bid massive props to you Matthew