More than 50 journalists have arrived in Lesotho's capital, Maseru for a photo opportunity offered by Britain's Prince Harry- his first during his eight-week stay in Lesotho.Fifty? How did he pull that off? I don't think we've seen that many journalists grouped together since the disturbances in 1998. And even then.... Has the Prince used this amount of clout in any way for the betterment of the local population, which is starving and AIDS-infested? Surprise me by pointing me in the direction of one--one--such statement. I'll gladly apologise to the goodly Prince. Working at an orphanage? Really? Doing what? Is that working at the orphanage for an hour or for a day?
The prince arrived there 17 days ago. Paddy Harverson, his spokesperson, says Harry has taken a hands-on share already been involved in a variety of projects. These include helping build a new clinic and a bridge, planting trees with local school children to aid land conservation, and digging trenches to divert water away from crop fields.
The media have been invited to see - and snap -Prince Harry working at an orphanage near Mohale's Hoek, in the south of Lesotho.
If I'm right, this isn't really what Lesotho needs. We need maize and sorghum, not photo-hunting journalists. Unless, of course, the celebrity concerned is smart enough to seize the opportunity to tell the world about the misery and the hunger and the disease. What this tends to do, instead is take our team's time and use resources on heightened security. Food, not photo ops. That, I'm sure, would be the reaction of many of the people involved in poverty reduction and AIDS combat.
UPDATE: So far, so good. The Prince seems to be doing what he should be doing.
UPDATE 2: Pondblogger has a post on our young prince's adventures in Lesotho. Have a look-see.
UPDATE 3: The two updates above have links that are no longer "good".