There are many reasons why celebrities have visited Africa, the beauty of the wild open plains, the plethora of wildlife, the incredible diversity of cultures and Africa’s fight for freedom form apartheid that brought the world to its knees when Nelson Mandela was elected as the first black President. This brought much attention to Africa and many celebrities were moved to visit Africa, not only for its beauty, but also to lend a helping hand to countries and people who suffer from poverty, political turmoil, genocide, ‘war torn’ countries and impoverished schools and health care services.
Many celebrities visited Africa just to experience the beauty of it, but there were a few that were moved to help various causes and charities. This article mentions five well-known actresses and singers who have tried and succeeded in lending a loving and helping hand to Africa.
1.Jessica Alba (Actress)
Jessica also collaborated with Ali Hewson and Bono in the Diesel (clothing designers) + EDUN collaboration for Studio Africa. They travelled to Uganda and Mali and shared their love for Africa, and decided to create a brand of clothing that is entirely manufactured in Africa with the finest cotton from Uganda, designing garments that reflected the African culture, as well as the landscape. These garments were then worn by popular African musicians to promote and share ethical consciousness with creativity.
2.Natalie Portman (Actress)
Natalie is involved in several campaigns in Africa and is committed to social issues. She is an ambassador for FINCA International (Foundation for International Community Assistance) who provide microloans to women in developing countries.
She also travelled to Uganda and became a part of FINCA’s Village Banking Campaign that actively provides financial services to one million of the world’s lowest-income families. Natalie is also involved in an HIV/AIDS awareness programme – Shoes4Africa. They also assist with education, women’s empowerment and health issues. Shoes4Africa provided its very first public teaching children’s hospital. It is clear that Natalie is passionate about children and education, but also about Africa.
3.Angelina Jolie (Actress)
When Angelina was filming Tomb Raider in Cambodia, she became aware of the numerous humanitarian crises around the world. One of her first humanitarian visits was to Africa where she went on an 18-day field mission to Tanzania and Sierra Leone. Here she lived and worked with refugees who had suffered under the hands of rebels during the ongoing civil war.
In 2013 Angelina joined up with Britain’s Foreign Secretary, William Hague, to visit the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. Here they helped to lead a campaign for the rest of the world to become aware of the sexual violence that takes place in war zones. They spoke to rape victims at a refugee camp and laid wreaths at the Gisozi genocide memorial in Rwanda.
4.Katy Perry (Actress and Singer)
In New York in 2013 she became UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador because she believes and supports the work that they do. Katy stated that “Support for UNICEF is saving children, I am a witness to it.”
5.Lady Gaga (Singer)
These celebrities have brought light to many issues that the world is often not aware of. They have taken time away from their homes and travelled far across the globe to see to the needs of others who are less fortunate than they are. They are an inspiration to others, even to those who live in Africa and are not even aware of what their country is going through. Hopefully their actions will spark more and more wealthy celebrities to visit this beautiful country, appreciate what it has to offer and then give back to it so that South Africa can grow and flourish and have a wonderful future.