A somewhat bizarre “charity single” hit the headlines this week when a Norwegian band going by the name of Radi-Aid launched an appeal for Africans to send radiators to freezing Norway this winter.

A much-viewed YouTube video accompanies the single, which urges Africans to spare a thought for those poor chilly Norwegian children, forced to endure the harsh Scandinavian winter.

But before you go lugging a radiator down the street, note that the song – and the campaign – is in fact a spoof, parodying many of the tropes from the 1985 US charity single “We are the World” and designed to highlight misguided attempts to impose “development” on Africa, with the stereotypes that accompany it.

The single features South African rapper Breezy Vee, who raps over footage of Norwegians struggling in snowdrifts and people taking radiators to campaign “collection points”.

At one point he sings: “In Norway kids are freezing, it’s time for us to care. There’s heat enough for Norway, if Africans would share.”

The single was the brainchild of the Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund, and its website explains its true aims: “Imagine if every person in Africa saw the ‘Africa for Norway’ video and this was the only information they ever got about Norway. What would they think about Norway?”

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