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Bono's read all over
Political activist and sometime frontman of U2 has taken a new job: he's the editor of the UK Independent, out today.
The Hot Press Newsdesk, 16 May 2006
In a move to highlight global poverty via his RED campaign, he gives over most of the paper to the problems facing Africa.
In his editorial, he states: "I have watched these brave and beautiful souls who are fighting a forest fire of a pandemic with watering cans, knowing they will not see the light of a day when their work will be honoured. I have been a witness to their conversations around canteen tables, deciding who will live or die, because they do not have enough pills to go round. I've seen Zackie Achmat refuse his medications until he won his action against the South African government, forcing their hand on universal access. What a witness he was. And so I testify."
Reports include that of Ruth Nakabonge, an orphan who was forced to take on the role of parent to her siblings aged just 8, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian politician whose stance against corruption has put her life at risk.
The singer interviews Gordon Brown and Tony Blair on their views on Africa. Blair conceded that it "wants to stand on its own two feet and what it wants from us in the meantime is help to get there".
There's also an interview with U2 guitarist The Edge, in which he discusses how the musicians of New Orleans are rebuilding their culture and livelihood.
However it's not all heavy-going stories. US Secretary Of State Condoleezza Rice picks her ten favourite musical works (U2 are at no 7), while Bono pens an article on horse racing, and also spends time with transvestive comedian Eddie Izzard.
He writes: "The first advice that Simon Kelner [Independent editor] gave me about editing this paper was to include some pieces that "reflect your humour". "Why?" I thought. "Don't people know I'm really funny anyway?" Apparently not."