13 March 2012
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News: Speech Debelle

Rapper says controversial Kony 2012 campaign could lead to 'more raping and pillaging' of Uganda

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SPEECH Debelle has spoken out against the controversial Kony 2012 campaign to raise awareness of Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony.

The American advocacy group Invisible Children uploaded a 30-minute video in support of its cause which went viral in a major way last week, with over 75 million YouTube hits to its name since being posted last Monday (March 5).

However, the filmmakers have drawn criticism for what many people see as a reductive and inaccurate portrayal of Uganda’s internal struggles, which could ultimately play into the hands of US government hawks looking to exploit the country’s abundant oil supplies.

Now London MC Debelle has expressed her own misgivings about the campaign, in an interview with Digital Spy. “I was quite quiet at the beginning,” she said. “I’ve seen it going on for about a week.”

“It didn’t ring true to me. I was on the Al Jazeera website today when I saw one of the news reports they’d been doing on oil found in Uganda and it began to seem a bit suspicious. A bit too much of a coincidence. Again.

“I’m not backing this Kony campaign. As far as I’m concerned, I’m not going to be part of a campaign that possibly — and based on historic fact — more than likely could contribute to more raping and pillaging of the birthplace of man. I’m not going to do that.

“Especially when they’re so arrogant to use the same PR campaign that they’ve been using every time. There’s this bad man in a bush. Even McDonald’s changes its campaign once in a while.

“I’m a Jamaican. I am of Jamaican descent so that means I am the descendant of rebellious slaves. US invasion of Africa has never been beneficial to me. My personal history means that any time there is some invasion of Africa it has not ended up well for Africans and the descendants of Africans, so therefore I can’t be a part of it.

“They know that it works. It works to tell everyone there’s a bad man and everyone jumps behind it, so that’s what they’ve been using for the past couple of invasions. There needs to come a time where people say, ‘Hold on, I think I’ve heard this story before’.

“And the story ends up the same. How did it end up for the Iraqis? We were supposed to save them but I don’t know if it ended up too well.”

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