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Entries in Africa (4)

Saturday
Feb252012

50 Cent Helps UN in Africa

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images(MOGADISHU, Somalia) -- We’re used to seeing Bono or Angelina on humanitarian trips to Africa, but 50 Cent?

The rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, recently became a large, and unlikely, donor to the United Nations’ World Food Program, and joined U.N. officials on a trip to Somalia.

“This is exciting,” he said. “I mean, according to the (security) briefing, it’s pretty dangerous, but I told him, ‘we don’t get briefings in the environment that I come from, and it can be pretty dangerous there also.’”

 This is the man who was famously shot nine times—as dramatized in the movie, Get Rich or Die Tryin’—and went from being a crack dealer to No. 2 on Forbes list of richest black entertainers and raps about bedding women and drinking champagne.

Now he volunteers to help in one of the most lawless and dangerous places on Earth. 50 Cent also launched a new line of energy drinks, called Street King, in which 10 cents of every bottle sold will go toward feeding children all over the world.

As we flew into Somalia with the rapper, it became clear that this was, in essence, a mogul’s midlife crisis.

“I want to be more, not just an artist, but as a person,” 50 Cent said. “My legacy, what’s left behind, I don’t want to be a guy who’s just remembered for writing a few decent songs.”

After landing, we were quickly loaded into a convoy, led by a truck full of armed men, and were taken to a refugee camp, filled with women and children, many of whom had walked for weeks to escape the drought and war.

As 50 Cent watched babies’ arms be measured so medical professionals could see the extent of their malnourishment, the rapper, who sold drugs at age 12 on the mean streets of South Queens, never knew his father, and whose mother, a drug dealer, was murdered when he was a child, was at an utter loss for words.

“It’s amazing,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

While his book, The 50th Law, and often violent rap lyrics talk about being tough in a cold, hard world, 50 Cent doesn’t drink or smoke, he meditates with Deepak Chopra, he owned a 4 lb dog named Oprah that he liked to dress up and lives in a mansion alone in Connecticut.

And now “the Hip-Hop Bono,” as his manager called him, is in Africa helping children.

“This is the next chapter in my life,” 50 Cent said of the Somalia trip. “I don’t care if my audience is prepared to move forward with me, they may not necessarily be growing at the same pace. Some of them will understand it and other will turn their nose up at it, but who cares?”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec222011

Jonah Hill Turns Birthday into Charitable Cause

C Flanigan/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- For his 28th birthday, Jonah Hill is asking fans to make a donation to the U.N. Foundation's Nothing But Nets program, which supplies insecticide-treated bed nets to African nations battling malaria. You can make a donation at NothingButNets.net.

Hill said in a statement, "I want everyone to dig deep into their pockets and cough up $10. $10 sends a bed net to kids in Africa. I hate mosquitoes. I hate malaria more. I love birthdays and I love anyone who donates $10 for my birthday. If you donate $30 I will love you three times as much.”

Hill turned 28 on Tuesday. He was recently nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance in Moneyball.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Sep242011

Oxfam Ambassador Scarlett Johansson Visits Drought-Stricken Africa

Kevin Mazur/WireImage(BOSTON) -- Oxfam Ambassador and Actress Scarlett Johansson visited Africa this week to get a first-hand account of Oxfam's life-saving work in the drought-impacted areas of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia where 13 million people are at risk.

Johansson, an Oxfam Ambassador since 2004, visited the Dadaab refugee camp, where tens of thousands of Somali refugees arrived.

"The scale of poverty in Dadaab is overwhelming," said Johansson. "I met countless women like Hawa, a local community leader, who lamented the seemingly endless struggle of the Somali people, as refugees of war and starvation and now left to suffer everyday life with the very barest of essentials."

Johansson also visited the Turkana region of northern Kenya during her trip.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

Monday
Oct042010

Mandy Moore Goes to Africa to Help Fight Malaria 

Photo Courtesy - Storefront Records(AFRICA) -- Mandy Moore says she learned a valuable lesson last week while she was in Africa. Moore was assisting the United Nations Foundation's "Nothing but Nets" campaign, which provides bed nets that protect people from malaria-carrying mosquitoes. Malaria is the number-one killer of refugees in Africa, though Moore says the spread of the disease is "entirely preventable."

Speaking to reporters during a teleconference Friday from Africa, Moore said, "I will be tirelessly returning home with the message that we can prevent this disease, and we can save lives, and we just need everyone's involvement."´╗┐

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio