The number of celebrities from every corner of the world; young, old, male and female have significantly risen in the recent past, and so have welfare acts towards humanity. Whether as a cause of life or just a way of staying relevant in the industry, these selfless acts by some celebrities have no doubt contributed massively to the betterment of the world. And if this is anything to go by, then Africa has greatly reaped benefits from the benefactors. Jumia Travel, Africa’s leading online hotel booking portal, has compiled a list of celebrities who, in one way or another, have altruistically supported Africa’s mission of improving the lives of its people.
The Academy Award winning American actress, filmmaker and humanitarian Angelina Jolie, has made a mark in the humanitarian world through advocating for an end to violence against children and women in conflict zones. As part of her mission, Jolie funded a girls’ school and boarding facility in Kenya’s Kakuma refugee camp which opened in 2005. In 2015, she opened the Zahara Children’s Center In Sebeta, Ethiopia, a facility that treats and educates children suffering from tuberculosis or HIV. She has also contributed to conservation and community development initiatives across Africa. In recognition of her efforts to ease the suffering of refugees across the world, Jolie was named the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Goodwill Ambassador on August 2001. She was then promoted to the position of a special envoy in April 2012.
I have so much in my life. I want to be of value to the world – Angelina Jolie
Donald Frank “Don” Cheadle Jr. is famously known for his role as a hotel manager during the Rwandan Genocide in the 2004 movie “Hotel Rwanda”. As if having experienced firsthand the horrific events of 1994, the American actor, writer, producer and director, embarked on a mission to campaign for an end to the Darfur Genocide in Sudan. He co-authored a book titled “Not on Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond” as well as ”The Enough Moment: Fighting to End Africa’s Worst Human Rights Crimes”. As a result of his humanitarian work for the cause of the people of Rwanda and Darfur, Don was awarded the BET Humanitarian Award and shared the Summit Peace Award by Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in 2007.
If people in this country think of Africa as a place with kids and flies swarming around their heads, then they won’t understand that these people are you and you are them – Don Cheadle.
The American singer, songwriter, dancer, actress and businesswoman, Madonna Louise Ciccone is one of the world celebrities who have impacted lives in Africa and beyond. From adopting two Malawian children to building community schools in the country, the epic singer has undoubtedly gained global recognition for providing thousands of children in Africa with an opportunity to access quality and affordable education. Her cause to end extreme poverty in the continent is also visible after co-founding “Raising Malawi”, a non-profit organization that supports other community-based organizations to provide nutritious food, clothing, shelter, education, medical care to vulnerable children and their families.
This, among other charity organizations she has founded, is evident of her love for Africa and especially its children. It is reported that after her recent visit to Kenya, Madonna will be partnering with the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, in a bid to improve maternal health, girls’ education and fight violence against women.
I hope that I inspire women to believe in themselves, no matter where they come from; no matter what education they have; what particular background they originate from – Madonna.
One of our own, a child of Africa from Kenya, Lupita Nyong’o makes it to the list with her valiant efforts to curb ivory poaching. The Oscar-winning actress is the global elephant ambassador for international conservation organization WildAid, a platform she uses to advocate against the merciless killing of elephants for their treasured ivory. As a major tourist destination, Africa has suffered a big blow from illegal poaching and trade of endangered animals especially the elephants. Her efforts are in a bid to end this crisis in continent, whose result would be an increase of tourists to the wildlife destinations such as the Amboseli National park.
The ripple effect is likely to increase tenfold tourism revenue in African countries and thus contribute to the economic growth of the entire continent.
It is time to ban sales of ivory worldwide and to consign the tragedy of the ivory trade to history – Lupita Nyong’o (Credit: Rappler.com)
Credit: Josephine Wawira, Jumia Travel