Bono Meets Oprah in Prime Time

19 Sep 2002
'Politicians aren't scared of me,' said Bono to Oprah and 20m viewers, 'They're scared of you.'

Taped before a live audience in Chicago in September 2002, an Oprah Winfrey special featured an extended interview with Bono explaining his campaigning work for the poorest African countries.

In the programme, Bono urged Oprah's predominantly female audience to take action in the fight against AIDS in Africa. When asked why American women should care, Bono said 'Because any mother knows that the pain of losing a child is the same in Africa as it is in America.'

Bono also talked about his recent trip to four African countries with US Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and actor Chris Tucker. Both also appeared on the show by satellite.

'If you want to talk to the American people, you come to Oprah,' Bono told the studio audience at the taping of the show. 'This is an emergency.'

His appearance was aimed at rallying support for an international effort to alleviate paralyzing debt in Africa and the resulting AIDS epidemic which threatens to kill a generation of Africans. He talked extensively about DATA - which stands for Debt, AIDS, Trade in Africa.

Watch a ten-minute clip of the show here

Highlights from the video clip at include:

'Bill Gates is somebody we're involved with, and he's got the deepest pockets of anyone. But his pockets aren't deep enough to fix this. This is a political problem. The good news is that if it's a political problem, it belongs to the people.'

'Oprah: How has this passion fueled your work on stage? Bono: I was very humbled to find out that the less time I spent in the studio, the better the music seemed to get! The band is really supportive of my work. They just wish the people I was hanging out with weren't so un-hip!'

'The people who drove it home [in England], as much as the students and activists were a part of it, were mothers. That has been really powerful [the support from] mothers and women's groups. They're not scared of me, but when women start getting organized, they [politicians] get scared.'

More on DATA here


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