Category Archives: Celebrity

Rwanda 2015

Today, I thought I would show you Rwanda as it is in 2015, 21 years after the genocide. There is a lot to be learned here.

I have included some photographs that show what you can expect to see in the Land of a Thousand Hills.

Patchwork 6x4.jpgTraditional Dancing Girl 6x4.jpgView to Volcanoes 6x4.jpgWoman Carrying Cattle Feed 6x4.jpgYoung Gorilla 6x4.jpg

  • An after affect of the genocide is that the Rwandan population is made up of 64% women and 35% men
  • 66% of Rwandan politicians are female
  • There are no plastic carrier bags in Rwanda, recycled paper only
  • Rwanda is litter free both in the cities and in the countryside
  • Everybody smiles and says hello
  • Rwandans talk about the genocide, recognising that it is the only way to move on with their lives
Also posted in Dignity


Last night I saw the new Cuba Gooding Jr movie Selma. The film chronicles three months in 1965 where Dr Martin Luther King led a campaign  to secure equal voting rights for coloureds in the face of violent opposition.

The story of Martin Luther King is well known but this particular event, less so. It is easy to walk away from the film thinking how far we have come. For me, it was a stark reminder of how much is left to do and that oppression and brutality are not a third-world problem. It is in all of our backyards.

I saw the film as a reminder of how one simple act of cruelty or a cutting remark can marginalise a fellow human being.

In the words of the man himself,

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Also posted in Dignity, Marginalised People, Movies

Bill, Bill and George

Whenever people ask me what my dream job is, I tell them that I want to work for Bill, Bill or George. Understandably, they look confused. Let me explain.

These three men, Bill Clinton, Bill Gates and George Clooney are each, in their own way, extraordinary men doing extraordinary work.

Bill Clinton has been candid that the biggest regret of his tenure as President was his failure to intervene in Rwanda. While that wrong can never be righted, in subsequent years, President Clinton has arguably done more to improve the plight of marginalised people than any other individual on earth. He has earned the nickname ‘The King of Giving’ tenfold. Through leveraging his extensive global network, he has achieved things that many said were impossible. Now, a child with Aids in Africa can be treated for US$90 a year rather than the first-world price of $9,000 annually.

Each year, the former President hosts the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, where he brings together leading philanthropists whose aim is to find innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. Subsequently, they commit to projects proposed throughout the conference, dealing with such issues as education, disease, economic inequality and refugees. CGI as it’s known amongst regulars, is graced by the likes of President Obama, Desmond Tutu, Angelina Jolie, Bono, and formally Nelson Mandela. Actress and UNHCR Global Ambassador Angelina Jolie gave one of the most moving speeches I have ever heard here back in 2007.

Bill No 2 and frequent CGI attendee along with wife Melinda are better known as the Gates’. Perhaps a more unlikely philanthropist than Bill No 1, Mr Gates has set a new global benchmark for personal giving and not just for geeks. There are many wealthy individuals who could learn a thing or two about the joy of generosity from the Microsoft founder and his capable wife. The couple runs the Gates Foundation, which is also supported by billionaire investor Warren Buffet. Each year, the Foundation contributes the equivalent of fifteen percent of the United States global health budget, which is mind-boggling! Imagine if all those other wealthy individuals found their inner philanthropist.

If you have been searching for answers to the world’s most controversial questions, such as, ‘Why do we want to save millions of people in Africa when we have a critical population issue?’ Then take a look at The Living Proof Project from Bill and Melinda Gates. They can answer all those tricky questions, provide proof of success and help eradicate a few pesky diseases such as Polio and Malaria in the interim!

To learn more about he Living Proof Project Click here

And finally George – ah! Big sigh – the ladies reading this will understand.

Perhaps the most unlikely of the three musketeers, Mr Clooney, is part of an entity known as Not on Our Watch – Click here. Initially set up by Hotel Rwanda star, Don Cheadle, he has since enlisted Ocean’s Eleven (Twelve and Thirteen) co-stars, George Clooney, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt along with producer Jerry Weintraub. Imagine the whiplash you’d get working in that office!

Not on Our WatchBook.jpg

Issue No 17, on sale now, of COLLECTIVE magazine, gives an overview of George’s advocacy to this and other projects such as the Satellite Sentinel Project in Darfur. If, however, you are seeking a more in-depth read then I highly recommend the book of the same name Not On Our Watch by Don Cheadle and John Prendergast (Published by Hyperion). Interestingly, at the time of publication, in 2007, Prendergast was a senior advisor to the International Crisis Group and a former official in the Clinton White House.

George Clooney Collective Issue 17.jpg

So back to George. Mr Clooney Jnr and his journalist father, Mr Clooney Snr or Nick, have made numerous trips to the Darfur region of Sudan. They have been responsible for divestment by various American investors in Sudanese oil and, more recently, through the satellite project, have garnered additional evidence against Al Bashir’s genocidal regime. Clooney is even credited for informing the American people that genocide was taking place in Darfur prior to the then sitting President George W Bush.

One of my personal favourite speeches from Mr Clooney was his acceptance speech at 2010 62nd Emmy Awards for the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award – To watch Click here

So while my three favourite men are awesome, in the words of George, there are many who could do much, much more…

Also posted in Dignity, Genocide, Marginalised People, NGOs, Philanthropy, Photography, Refugees