The High Commissioner for Uganda said today his nation does need the help of British fundraisers after a row over Stacey Dooley and her Comic Relief work threatened to see donations dry up.
Fans rallied around the reporter who was accused by MP David Lammy of trying to make herself look like a ‘heroine’ and a ‘white saviour’ during her trip to the African nation.
The 31-year-old investigative reporter and Strictly star had posted an image of herself with a Ugandan child while filming for the fundraising drive.
Television presenter Trisha Goddard has accused journalist Stacey Dooley of using ‘Kardashian’ words and sharing ‘disturbing’ images as she waded in on the Comic Relief row.
Furious Mr Lammy left her and thousands of others stunned when he said it was ‘perpetuating colonialism’.
After many questioned whether or not they should be making donations to charity the Ugandan High Commissioner later told This Morning the nation ‘needs Comic Relief’.
Peter Moto said Uganda needs UK aid for the provision of education, the health sector, governance and refugees in northern Uganda.
Peter Moto said Comic Relief helps people in Uganda with education and healthcare
Labour MP David Lammy criticised Stacey Dooley for appearing in a Comic Relief documentary in Uganda which promotes ‘tired and unhelpful stereotypes’ and for encouraging a ‘white saviour’ complex – sparking a war of words between the pair
However, he added Ugandans would prefer the children not to be on social media.
He said: ‘Stacey did a great job. Comic relief is doing a good job.
‘We are not comfortable with pictures of children on social media
‘There is nothing wrong with what comic relief is doing but we felt a little uncomfortable with the social media.
‘If it is about an object like a village school or health centre we have no problem but we want to protect the interests of children on social media.’
He added: ‘We need the donations.
‘We need people to co-operate with Comic Relief.’
Earlier on GMB the debate saw Trisha Goddard wade in.
She compared the image captioned ‘ob.sessssed’ to the famous family of Kim Kardashian.
Speaking on GMB former talk show host Trisha joined those supporting Mr Lammy.
She said: ‘What jumped out at me was underneath it is said ‘obsessed’in that Kardashian thing.
‘I found that disturbing. She’s done some great things. She has done some great work.
‘We haven’t seen the film Stacey has done… It may be local heroes and heroines in the area.
Trisha Goddard was among those who supported David Lammy in his criticism of journalist Stacey Dooley over a picture she had on her Instagram
The caption on the photograph was slammed by Trisha Goddard – while thousands of people have backed the reporter
‘Saying obsessed- that’s what Kardashians say about shoes. I had part of my childhood in east Africa I understand what people are trying to do.
‘There are thousands of remarks. A lot of them are saying ‘Stacey I love your work but I don’t like this’.’
Stacey’s friend and broadcaster Edward Adoo called Trisha’s argument ‘pointless’.
Praising the investigative reporter, he said: ‘Stacey champions the underdog.
‘In terms of diversity she has done great things. I was enraged with the tweet. He was given the opportunity to go and he didn’t.
‘This is creating charitable racism… Saying for example if it’s an eastern European charity we’ll get eastern Europeans to do it or if it is an African charity we’ll get Africans to do it.
‘It’s about people doing something for each other.
‘Sorry Trisha she’s got the word ‘obsessed’ on her Instagram – it (your argument) doesn’t make sense. She has a voice like all of us.’
The Labour MP for Tottenham (pictured from behind) said that her comments showed she had ‘failed to educate herself’, adding on BBC News’ Victoria Derbyshire show: ‘Her Instagram conveys the age old trope that is her as the heroine and the black child as the victim and we have to stop it’
Miss Dooley arrived in Uganda 5 days ago, posting pictures of her trip including holding this child. Mr Lammy criticised the ‘white saviour’ complex promoted by celebrities such as Miss Dooley
The row began when the Labour MP for Tottenham said that Stacey’s image was ‘perpetuating colonialism’.
Addressing Miss Dooley directly, he said: ‘This isn’t personal and I don’t question your good motives. My problem with British celebrities being flown out by Comic Relief to make these films is that it sends a distorted image of Africa which perpetuates an old idea from the colonial era.’
Miss Dooley replied: ‘Is the issue with me being white? (Genuine question) …because if that’s the case, you could always go over there and try raise awareness [sic]?
‘I saw projects that were saving lives with the money. Kids lives.’
Mr Lammy added that it’s ‘complacent to suggest that colonial attitudes are dead’, and pointed to the Oxfam scandal, where white aid workers volunteering in Haiti sexually exploited women living in desperate poverty.
Lammy said comments showed she had failed ‘to educate herself’, adding on BBC News’ Victoria Derbyshire show: ‘Her Instagram conveys the age-old trope that is her as the heroine and the black child as the victim and we have to stop it’.
He added: ‘The image is a perpetual image of people who are impoverished, who need white celebrities. It keeps the continent of Africa poor. It keeps people in their place’.
The High Commissioner said he was not ‘comfortable’ with images of children being shared
When asked if the row is because she is white, he added: ‘That suggests that she [Stacey] doesn’t understand the issues. That’s part of the problem. Despite the fact she has power and agency she’s not sought to educate herself about the issues’.
He was also later confronted on ITV’s This Morning about snubbing Comic Relief’s Africa invitation and said: ‘I don’t accept that. Comic Relief wanted me to be part of their PR machine and I’m not prepared to do that. What I said to Comic Relief is ‘let’s wait and see what this year’s Comic Relief is like’.’
Dooley, 31, is currently filming with Comic Relief about neonatal clinics and malaria in Uganda
Mr Lammy did acknowledge Miss Dooley’s ‘good motives’ but bemoaned the British celebrity trope of travelling to poorer parts of Africa to film Comic Relief packages
Mr Lammy said the BBC and Comic Relief were failing to properly educate the British public about life in Africa and sticking to a ‘tired’ format of jetting in mainly white celebs
He also said that Comic Relief, which has raised more than £1billion for poor communities in Britain and abroad in the past 30 years, is ‘tired and outdated’ and needs to ‘change the record and grow up’.
Comic Relief thank Stacey Dooley for going to Uganda – and say offer of an African trip to David Lammy is ‘still open’
Comic Relief has revealed it offered to collaborate with Labour MP David Lammy on a film in Africa but the politician snubbed it – as the charity thanked Stacey Dooley for her work.
Responding on Thursday, a spokesperson for Comic Relief made no apologies, thanking Dooley for helping people ‘working with or supported by Comic Relief projects tell their own stories in their own words’.
It said: ‘We are really grateful that Stacey Dooley, an award-winning and internationally acclaimed documentary maker, agreed to go to Uganda to discover more about projects the British people have funded there and make no apologies for this.
‘She has filmed and reported on challenging issues all over the world, helping to put a much-needed spotlight on issues that affect people’s lives daily.
‘In her film, people working with or supported by Comic Relief projects tell their own stories in their own words.
‘We have previously asked David Lammy if he would like to work with us to make a film in Africa and he has not responded. The offer is still open.’
Its founders including Lenny Henry and Richard Curtis are yet to speak out but a spokesman made no apologies for Miss Dooley’s work in Uganda.
Mr Lammy denied that he wanted Comic Relief scrapped but said it should move away from sending white celebrities to African villages as colonial-type saviours.
He said: ‘The BBC, which has a responsibility to educate, which has a responsibility for multi-culturalism and equality, is failing if it allows Comic Relief, and Richard Curtis, effectively, just to sit back, with the same old white privilege, and the same old comedians raking in money for what purpose?
‘I saw for what purpose because Comic Relief doesn’t need to exist’.
The war of words between the London MP, the charity and Miss Dooley has now rumbled on for 48 hours.
Strictly star, Miss Dooley is in Africa filming for the charity and posted pictures on Instagram of local women dancing and of children hugging her.
However, the Tottenham MP accused Miss Dooley of showing a ‘distorted image of Africa’ and perpetuating a ‘colonial era’ mentality that suggests white people are the solution to poverty in deprived parts of the world.
Mr Lammy, 46, acknowledged Miss Dooley’s ‘good motives’ but bemoaned the British celebrity trope of travelling to Africa to film charity appeals.
Miss Dooley, whose documentary focuses on Malaria and neonatal clinics, responded to the MPs twitter remarks and highlighted the £1billion raised by Comic Relief since it was founded in 1985 by the comedian Lenny Henry.
Writing on social media, Mr Lammy said: ‘The world doesn’t need anymore white saviours. As I’ve said before, this just perpetuates tired and unhelpful stereotypes.’
The MP added: ‘Let’s promote voices from across the continent of Africa and have a serious debate.’
Liz Warner, CEO of Comic Relief, said the organisation had taken its ‘first steps’ towards change after Mr Lammy slammed the charity for portraying Africa as a continent of poverty-stricken victims and stereotypes.
Aid watchdog SAIH also criticised a video of pop star Sheeran meeting a street boy in Liberia and offering to pay for his housing.
Ms Warner said Comic Relief had replaced celebrity storytellers with Africans, following a record-breaking 24-hour telethon that raised £55.4million in 2016.
The activist have bombarded her Instagram posts with comments asking her to meet up with the group before she leaves the country
Celebrities who have played their part in Comic Relief fundraising with trips to Africa – including Ed Sheeran’s film branded ‘poverty porn’ by aid watchdog
By Milly Vincent for MailOnline
Ed Sheeran visiting the Street Child Liberia project which uses Comic Relief money to help give vulnerable children a safe place to stay, reuniting them with their relatives
In 2017 Ed Sheeran’s comic relief trip to Monrovia, Liberia, was met with controversy after he offered to pay for five homeless orphans he had met to stay in a hotel for the night.
Reduced to tears after hearing the young boys stories of sleeping rough and being beaten and raped by older men Ed turned to the camera and said: ‘Once we’re done here we’re going to pack up the camera and these guys are gonna to be sleeping in a canoe with a lot of dangerous people about.
‘Really does not feel right leaving at all. I mean, the only thing you can do is help them, which we should. ‘
My natural instinct is to just put them in a car and just take them and just put them in a hotel until we can get them sorted.’
As the star looked around at the camera crew, he asked: ‘Can we do that?
‘Can I pay to put them in a house until we get them in a school?
‘It doesn’t matter how much it costs can we just get him and his five mates in a house with an older person to look after them?
‘I don’t think we can go until that’s sorted.’
Ed was accused of ‘poverty porn’ by aid watchdog Radi-Aid awards who awarded the film of the trip for ‘most offensive’ campaigns of 2017.
MailOnline tracked down orphan JD, whose plight had particularly affected Ed, and found that the boy had been living safely in a house with a woman he calls ‘ma’ and his four friends since the millionaire musician’s intervention.
JD, who claimed he was 14 but appeared younger, said: ‘If I had not met Ed, I would still be on the streets and sleeping in canoes on the beach. I wouldn’t have anyone to care for me.’
Sir Lenny Henry
Actor and comedian Sir Lenny Henry, honorary life president of comic relief
Actor, comedian and TV presenter Lenny Henry, who co-founded Comic Relief in 1985, has made frequent visits to Africa since the first Red Nose Day in 1988.
In one particularly tough trip filmed for Comic relief in 2011 called ‘Rich, Famous and in the Slums’ Lenny and three other famous faces visited Kiberia, Kenya, where they were given £2 to buy necessities and lived along side the people they were helping in the slums.
Lenny broke down weeping as he was reunited with a family of five orphaned brothers and sisters who he had met on his trip to Kiberia in 2010 and whose lives had improved immeasurably by Lenny’s actions.
Having been so moved by the orphan’s poor living situation, along side a dirty drain, Lenny purchased a house for orphans to ‘take the strain’ off the eldest brother who was providing for his siblings.
Writing in the Mirror after his 2011 Kiberia trip: ‘The filth, the desperation, the suffering was beyond what I had expected. However, one thing had remained the same – the belief that if we can help, even in a small way, what reason could we find for not doing it?’
In 2017 Lenny resigned as a Comic Relief trustee after 27 years but has since been made an honorary life president of comic relief.
Victoria Beckham, 44, posing in outfit worth £490, the t-shirt alone cost £90 from her own range
In March 2018 Victoria made a controversial trip to the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, for Sports Relief along with her 9-person entourage.
The 44-year-old fashion designer met school girls and gushed over a new born baby, named David, as he received life saving injections funded by USA Red Nose Day donations.
Victoria faced a media backlash while on the trip for wearing an outfit which cost £490 around the Nairobi slums.
The same week Liz Warner, chief executive of Comic Relief, which runs Sport Relief and Red Nose Day, announced that celebrities would take a back seat for on-location appeals following complaints about ‘poverty tourism’.
In a press release about the trip Victoria said: ‘I’m so proud to have been supporting the amazing work of Sport Relief for over a decade.
‘I first went on a field trip to Peru in 2004 for the ‘A mile in their shoes’ documentary. 14 years later, here I am in Kenya, visiting incredible community projects that are protecting, educating and empowering women of all ages.’
Victoria sports a red nose while visiting a school in Nairobi, kenya, along with film crew
Reggie Yates, 35-year-old TV presenter
In 2017 Reggie took part in the African convoy through Africa delivering bikes to workers.
In Kenya he spoke to a women named Olivia who was living a hand to mouth existence and struggling to afford food for her children. Her children washed behind the house in a puddle of water mixed with sewage.
After Reggie’s visit, two of Olivia’s daughters (Faith and Felister) were enrolled into education, receiving counselling, life skills training and remedial education.
The Comic Relief-funded project support Olivia to join a savings group, so that she can start a small business, which could give her children a more secure future.
Reggie also accompanied Lennie Henry to Kiberia, Kenya, in 2011, living among open sewers for a week.
Writing in The Guardian about the experience he said: ‘Lenny Henry, Angela Rippon, Samantha Womack and I spent a week in Nairobi.
‘I had some drinking water and the occasional sweet or chocolate bar, but I was living among open sewers, sleeping in shacks. I pretty much lost all appetite, for days on end.’
In 2013 the One Direction boys Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik visited Accra, Ghana.
The men were so affected by the children and young babies they met, most fighting for their lives against common diseases like diarrhoea and pneumonia at the children’s hospital in Accra, that they broke down while filming, pleading with viewers to give generously.
Harry Styles cried after meeting a three-year-old boy suffering from malaria and anaemia.
Harry Styles and Liam Payne talking to children in Accra, Ghana
Zayn Malik also broke down in tears, admitting he was struggling to come to terms with the magnitude of seeing children fighting for their lives on a daily basis.
He said: ‘It’s so hard. I’ve never seen anything, never experienced anything like this in my life. The babies aren’t even a year old.’
Begging viewers to donate to this year’s Red Nose Day Appeal, he added: ‘We all waste money but the most important thing we can all do is give £5 to protect children from these illnesses.’
Samantha Womack, who played Ronnie Mitchell in EastEnders
During the 2011 ‘Rich, Famous and in the Slums’ visit to Kiberia, Kenya, Samantha Womack, who played Ronnie Mitchell in EastEnders, went to live in the house of a woman who had been forced to resort to prostitution.
The woman had had no choice but to send her children away to their grandmother while she earnt money and her family weren’t aware she was a prostitute.
The actress also spent time at a clinic and was reduced to tears while comforting a woman who had given birth to a stillborn baby.
Samantha told Whatsontv: ‘I wasn’t prepared for the impact Kibera would have on me, it’s a tragically beautiful place. I’ve never felt part of a community like that before, I feel privileged that I got to meet the people I met.’