Well It has been a little over a month since the video went viral and just about a month since the co-founder had an emotional breakdown! Today, April 20th is the night that was set aside for “Cover the Night”. A night in which the supporters cover their city in posters provided by Invisible Children, to make Joseph Kony known. My original thoughts on Kony can be found in my blog post titled #KONY2012 … is not Enough. The interesting thing was that I actually got to go to Uganda at the end of March, and hear first hand how Uganda was responded to the Invisible Children campaign.
It did not take long for this topic to come on while we were in Uganda, because it was a very big deal before we left and so some of us were very interested to hear what the people in Uganda thought about the campaign. What we quickly found out is that they are not happy.
Their country is being thrown into the spotlight by a video that has outdated information. One person said “The video says he (Joseph Kony) is still in Uganda, but he is not! Uganda is a safe country!” Many people are very upset. They feel the video has placed a negative light on their country and told people lies about the current state of the country.
Northern Uganda was were the LRA inhabited for some years, but they have been gone the past 10, the Kony 2012 video would have been more relevant 10 years ago! Uganda has seen a drop in tourism because people believe that the country is not safe, but the people of Uganda want to spread the message that it is a safe place!
Many people I talked to shared that they felt that it was a big publicity stunt for somebody to make a pile of money. They feel used and exploited!
I understand what Invisible Children was trying to do, they wanted to bring light to an issue that many people did not know about, but it kind of blew up in their face. If the people you are trying to help are upset with the way they were portrayed there is an issue.
As I mentioned in my previous blog post about this topic, there are many tangible things we can do to empower the people of Uganda, and many organizations that are actively working there. It is up to you to do the research to figure out how and who you can help!
What are your thoughts on KONY 2012 a month later? Have they changed from your initial thoughts? (Let me know in the comments below!)