- 26 Apr 20
In the new Hot Press 'Stay Safe' Emergency Issue, Irish stars and cultural figures pen 'Letters From Home' – offering their personal takes on the COVID-19 crisis.
Dear Hot Press Readers,
Your friendly neighbourhood yellowman here. I hope everything is well and everyone’s maintaining a level head, hard as it may be in the current circumstances. I thought I was doing fine – until I found myself writing this letter, addressed to an entire publication and its readers!
Anyway, some insight into where my mind is, at the moment: I’m feeling appalled by the suggestion, made by two doctors on French TV, that the Covid 19 vaccine be tested in Africa; and that they proceeded to liken African people to prostitutes during AIDS studies.
Here’s what happened, as reported by the BBC.
Camille Locht, Research Director at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, was talking about a Covid-19 trial in Europe and Australia. Jean-Paul Mira, who is Head of Intensive Care at Cochin Hospital in Paris, then said: “If I can be provocative, shouldn’t we be doing this study in Africa, where there are no masks, no treatments, no resuscitation? A bit like as it is done elsewhere, for some studies on Aids. In prostitutes, we try things because we know that they are highly exposed and that they do not protect themselves.”
Dr. Locht agreed with him! “You are right,” he said. “We are thinking about a study, in parallel, in Africa.”
Rage is an understatement for how I feel about it.
But of course history shows that the French authorities, like those in much of the western world, don’t hold Africans in very high regard, as their trail of colonialism through our continent confirms.
On a lighter note, I’ve been working on my album and participating in various challenges. I even started one myself. The #broketoolong freestyle challenge invites rappers – or people who’ve become rappers as a result of self-isolation – to talk about how this situation has impacted their finances.
The album I’ve been forming is formidable and I can’t wait for the world to hear it; it has healing powers! The first taste of it will be made available in May, so I’m excited.
Anyway, stay safe and feel free to write back!
• JyellowL was born in Nigeria. He is one of the hottest young rappers on the Irish scene. His debut album is due shortly.
Read more Letters From Home in the new Hot Press 'Stay Safe' Emergency Issue – available to buy in shops and order online now.