Angelique Kidjo Speaks on Stigmatization of Africans in Diaspora Because of the Ebola Virus.
18th Nov 2014 Grammy award winner and one of West Africa’s most successful music legends Angelique Kidjo has expressed her unhappiness about the stigmatization of some Africans in Diaspora, especially in America since the Ebola outbreak began. Angelique Kidjo who is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and co-founder of the Batonga Foundation for Girls Education, has been vocal about the growing stigmatizations of Africans, particularly from West Africa, citing her personal experiences of been directly stigmatized when some people on social media called her Mama Ebola, and made other equally insensitive comments, in reference to her upcoming concert at the Carnegie hall. The singer received a bigger shock when she took a cab and the driver called her EBOLA, after he asked about her nationality, on noticing her accent.
Last week, the singer from Benin, in West Africa wrote a piece to the The New York Times which she headlined “Don’t Let Ebola Dehumanize Africa.”. She said the continent needs support to overcome this health crisis and not stigmatization which is gradually leading to the disease being the new face of the continent, and not just West Africa.
An advocate and activist for the continent, she said “Africa’s culture is more beautiful than any other culture in the world. It has fed all the cultures, including the American culture. The music that American people love to listen to, all of them come from Africa. And then, we have to celebrate that beauty. We have to celebrate that positive Africa that I grew up in. People are resilient in Africa. They don’t ask Westerners to come to their rescue. They want Westerners to be partner, helping them dealing with their problem. They don’t want pity. They don’t want patronizing.” Great words by a great woman.