NORWAY needs help.
That's the message of a new charity that believes Scotland's wealthy eastern neighbour has been overlooked by countries richer in warmth.
Radi-aid, set up by Africa for Norway, hopes to send thousands of old radiators to the Nordic hellhole to help the beleaguered people there survive the winter.
A video backing the campaign has gone viral on the internet, with South African rapper Breezy Vee telling viewers: "A lot of people aren't aware what's going on there right now." The film cuts to a scene of a man struggling against an icy wind. Breezy explains: "Sunlight puts smiles on people's faces. People don't ignore starving people so why should we ignore cold people? Frostbite kills too."
He calls on Africans to make a difference in Norway, shipping radiators to spread warmth, light and smiles. This is followed by pop singers intoning: "In Norway kids are freezing/It's time for us to care/There's eat enough for Norway/If Africans would share."
Very touching, but a spoof. And it originates in the uncontroversial northern country. The Norwegian Students' and Academics' International Assistance Fund set up the project to challenge stereotypes about Africa. These stereotypes see Africa as a basket case in need of charity and perhaps as a place that can't do its own irony. The song parodies We Are The World, the charity hit from 1985. And very well done it is too. The Norwegian Fund folk say: "Imagine if every person in Africa saw the video, and this was the only information they ever got about Norway. What would they think about Norway?"
Oh, I don't know. Probably that it was a bit like Scotland, colder perhaps, but less dreich and with a drier sense of humour.
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