The celebrity is in Africa. You know the celebrity from movies, or from being in a royal family, or from making an apology on television after saying what they really thought on television. An embedded reporter from The Toast was given exclusive access to the celebrity as he or she visited several buildings and animals throughout the region of Africa. We discussed Africa at length. Below is an edited and condensed version of this rare and unusual celebrity interview.
Celebrity, you care very much about Africa. Is this correct?
Oh, yes, I Africa all of the time. Like my father before me, I care deeply about having my picture taken while walking purposefully next to someone African in Africa. It means a great deal to me, particularly if we are both wearing sunglasses and gesturing significantly toward the horizon, which is where the future of Africa is. Would you like sunglasses? Have some of mine.
What work have you been doing in Africa?
It’s not all just pointing at the horizon and walking next to Africans. Sometimes I sit in a Jeep with no roof as a storm approaches. It’s standing and looking at mountains. It’s sometimes saying how important water is near a magazine reporter. Are you a magazine reporter?
Water is still very important, even if you are not from a magazine. Even in Africa, people like water almost every day. As a celebrity, I must bring it to them. Beautiful but painful, Africa life is living here in Africa, the Africa we are in now. The problems. The problems are very bad, the problems that are in Africa now. We will put the problems away, and walk toward the trees instead.
Which part of the Africa are you in right now?
The celebrity’s smooth and unruffled face suggested itself in the direction of a frown. “Oh, most of it, certainly,” the celebrity said. “My favorite part of Africa, of course, is the trees part, but there is also the part by all the water. And then the part with no water at all, of course. That’s mostly sand. The people there are very unhappy, because they can never get the sand out of their clothes. This is why there is so much war. Also Egypt, somewhere,” the celebrity continued, gesturing vaguely to the left. “Here there are also cities, but sometimes people are sick. This is different from other countries, somehow.”
Sometimes people in Africa are poor. Yes?
Yes. It’s terrible. I have brought some shoes with me. Let us bring them to the children. Where are the children? Children, we have brought you shoes. The children are afraid. They are afraid of the problems, and they have no shoes, but they are a wonderful people, the children. Very happy. Always laughing, by the well. Always laughing until they start fleeing in terror from the problems of Africa. North and South Africa. In both countries it’s the same. All the countries in Africa, which no one has ever counted. Sometimes there are two, sometimes as many as three countries in this vast country. My vest has seventeen pockets. You can unzip them and put anything you want in there. I have more sunglasses, in my vest.
Thank you, I already have sunglasses.
Someday everyone in Africa will have sunglasses. Then we will all walk and point and nod and say “hmm” and cross our arms and look slightly away from the camera and gesture animatedly and put our sunglasses on and look at the horizon together, in Africa, where we are right now.
Yes, Africa. We are in Africa, and you are too. And so are all of them, the Africans, they like to be in Africa for their jobs and homes and families and so on.
What about corruption in Africa? The generals? They are bad. I have heard this.
Ah. Yes, many of them wear sunglasses, but that does not mean you can trust them.
What have you learned from the Africa?
Oh, yes, Africa is full of lessons. Before Africa, I had problems. Big problems. Little problems. Problems in my car, problems during the night time. Outside problems, indoors too. Now that I have Africa, my problems, no they’re not. My problems are so unimportant, so I will fix all of these problems before I return home. Now I am always Africa. Problems before, Africa now. Africa is my only problem. I will fix this tree, I will fix this cat. This baby needs water, and shoes. This baby is Africa. Where is her mother? Am I her mother? Yes. Definitely. I am Africa’s mother. I am your mother, too. And your father. Have some sunglasses.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.