03 October 2002
African Diary, MTV Next Wednesday
MTV presents a one-hour special documenting the recent journey to Africa of
Bono, Chris Tucker, US Treasury Sec Paul O'Neill and two college students.
Premiering on October 9 at 10PM (ET/PT), 'Diary of Bono and Chris Tucker:
Aiding Africa' follows the students as they join Bono's campaign to generate
increased U.S. financial support for the African continent.
With MTV cameras in tow, Bono, Tucker, O'Neill, and twenty-year-olds Heather
Tatarski and Vernon Taylor travel through Ethiopia and Uganda, where Save
the Children, one of the world's leading development and relief bodies, has
arranged visits to villages, organizations and private homes. Everywhere
they go the group is touched deeply by the spirit and energy of the people
they meet, as they are greeted with smiles, open arms, song, and dance. But
they soon see beneath the joyous and colorful façade to the darker realities
of poverty and AIDS that are devastating the continent.
The special visits a village in Uganda where the group has an unforgettable
encounter at the home of Eleanor, who is dying of AIDS, and her teenage
daughter Mabel. Mabel forges a special bond with Bono, and gives the group a
tour around her village.
More on Mabel and Bono (pictured above) here
The group also calls on the TASO AIDS Support Organization, the first
indigenous organization in Africa to offer care and support for those
infected with HIV/AIDS. The TASO choir < a group made-up entirely of people
with HIV/AIDS < treats Bono and his new friends to a special performance.
In addition, the program demonstrates just how much of a difference
international financial support can make, as the group visits a number of
projects that have benefited from debt relief funds. These include the
Wakiso Water project which provides clean water to 75 households or 420
people; and the Missionaries of Charity AIDS hospice, orphanage and shelter
which provides care and support for over 40,000 HIV/AIDS infected or
affected people monthly.
The documentary also offers the two college students a glimpse into the
everyday lives of their African counterparts, as the group visits a typical
high school in Ethiopia, a conservative country where open discussion of sex
is taboo. The program captures a school assembly in which students stage a
rare performance addressing AIDS prevention.
'More than 11 million young people are infected with HIV in sub-Saharan
Africa,' commented Brian Graden, President of Entertainment, MTV. 'While the
AIDS epidemic in the United States has reached nowhere near the catastrophic
proportions it has in Africa, there is one alarming similarity: in both
Africa and the U.S., more than half of all new HIV infections occur among
those under the age of 25. We hope this program drives home the severity of
this disease for our audience.'
'Diary of Bono and Chris Tucker: Aiding Africa' premieres on MTV on October
9 at 10PM (ET/PT).
More on the programme and Bono's trip to Africa, including a slide-show,
More on DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade for Africa) here