Vanity Fair’s Africa Issue

Vanity Fair’s July edition is dedicated to Africa… I haven’t had a chance to buy the mag yet, so I’ll be going along to Borders tomorrow to get myself a copy.

The list of articles looks, um, interesting… There is one entitled “Madonna’s Malawi”…mmmm… Another one is called “The Lazarus Effect” – that’s on how buying from Bono’s Red brand will benefit Africa… yawn. Oops, I didn’t mean that. No I shan’t be cynical – I will wait until I have read it first. I must bear in mind that these people are trying to sell magazines!

20 cover shots of a range of personalities and public figures were taken… They are very Ameri-centric (unsuprisingly) and feature people such as Madonna, Brad Pitt, Mohammed Ali, George Bush (why?!), Condoleeza Rice, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys and of course Bono (who is in fact the guest editor)… Archbishop Desmond Tutu is in there too, as well as Benin-born actor Djimon Hounsou and model Iman. (Well, 3 Africans is better than none!)

There has been a lot of media interest in Africa over the past year… Films (Blood Diamond, The Constant Gardener, Last King of Scotland to name a few), magazines, Bono (ha!) , the Chinese government (haha!), TED Global… I’m just wondering where it has all come from. Is it that the positive African voices are getting stronger and are now being heard on an international level? Or is it, as the fashionistas say, Africa is the new black?

Whatever it is, what’s important is that we are able to leverage and sustain the interest, and use it in a way that benefits Africans….

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