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· Night 2 videos for U2:UV at the Sphere, Las Vegas, 30/09/23
· Night 2 setlist for U2:UV at the Sphere, Las Vegas, 30/09/23


Africa in crisis, U2's Bono tells Oprah viewers

Posted on Wednesday, September 18 @ 10:16:34 CEST by Macphisto

(Chicago Sun-Times) -- Bono, lead singer of the rock group U2, made his debut on the "Oprah Winfrey Show" Tuesday, but he didn't sing or hype the band's upcoming "best of" album.

Instead, the 42-year-old Irish rocker and father of four used his time with the Queen of Talk to rally support for an international effort to alleviate paralyzing debt in Africa and the resulting AIDS epidemic threatening to kill off an entire generation of Africans.

"If you want to talk to the American people, you come to Oprah," Bono told the studio audience at an afternoon taping of the "Oprah" show at Harpo Studios on West Washington. "This is an emergency."

Apart from his signature blue wraparound spectacles and a couple of small silver hoops in his ears, Bono forsook his usual rock 'n' roll regalia in favor of a conservative black suit, dark gray dress shirt and a new, short 'do. He only mentioned his "day job" with U2 a few times, focusing instead on his activism on behalf of suffering Africans.

The normally ebullient rocker, known for his howling vocals, spoke in soft raspy tones, his brogue adjusting to the gravity of the subject at hand.

Because of billions in debt owed to nations in the developed world, most African nations cannot provide the most basic of human necessities for their people, like clean water, a primary education and medicine, Bono said.

The vast majority of HIV-positive Africans cannot afford the medications that stave off the effects of the virus, he said.

Recalling how one Nazi death camp survivor told him once that he couldn't believe people stood by and watched the Nazis herd Jews and others into cattle cars headed for concentration camps, Bono likened the AIDS epidemic in Africa to the Holocaust.

"We're watching people being put on the trains," he said.

In May, Bono traveled to Africa with Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill to lobby for the United States to forgive the debt in Africa. O'Neill appeared via satellite during the "Oprah" taping, along with comedian Chris Tucker, who was also on the Africa trip.

The musician, who told Winfrey he's been a "real pain in the arse" to Washington politicians over the last few years, is credited by some with convincing President Bush to provide an additional $5 billion in aid to Africa earlier this year.

Bono reminded the talk-show audience that Congress still has to approve the allocation and said Americans need to let their officials know that African debt relief is an issue they'll remember come Election Day.

Rescuing Africa from crippling debt and disease is a moral obligation, said Bono, who told the "Oprah" audience to go online to www.datadata.org to find out more about efforts to relieve debt and the ravages of AIDS in Africa.

"We can throw pennies at the problem," he said, "but God doesn't want alms, God wants action."

Bono's "Oprah'' interview is scheduled to air at 9 a.m. and 11:05 p.m. Friday on WLS-Channel 7.


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