Why Some Africans Hate Charity? Explained By the Cast of Friends

When I watched this episode of Friends, I thought, “Yup! That captures what a lot of African people feel about charity!”

The Cast

Africa and Africans will be represented by Joey, Rachel and Phoebe

The West and its charitable shall be represented by Ross, Monica and Chandler

Wish I Could Embed It But Sadly I Can’t :(

Take note of the group dynamics and let me know what you think:



  • By Anne Wayman, December 16, 2008 @ 6:27 am

    Don’t know why, but on my connection (cox cable) the vids so choppy I can’t stand trying to watch it.

  • By Mwangi, December 16, 2008 @ 10:20 am

    @Anne: In case that player isn’t working you can try the link below or just look for the episode: ” The One with Five Steaks and an Eggplant”


  • By sokari, December 16, 2008 @ 9:24 pm

    This might interest you


  • By Mwangi, December 16, 2008 @ 9:31 pm

    @sokari: Thanks for that…..charity, porn; now there’s something I haven’t heard of. You know at a gut level, it doesn’t make sense to me why none of the thousands of projects, run by well educated people allegedly, haven’t managed to pull at least one community out of poverty.
    But I guess I’ll wait investigate and figures before going on rants and casting any more judgments or making any more rants.

  • By Brandon, December 29, 2008 @ 3:35 am

    Hi Mwangi!

    Perhaps you can expand further using your analogy. Although the link you gave did not load for me, I don’t even think I would know the characters names to follow!

    Hope to see more on your analogy!

  • By Mwangi, December 29, 2008 @ 11:16 am

    @Brandon: An American who doesn’t understand Friends? I am gobsmacked :P In short the problem comes in when some 3 of the friends begin discussing how much poorer they are than the other 3.
    The solution of the other 3 is to try and pay for stuff for the poorer 3 -in this episode Hootie and the Blowfish.
    Now there are actually quite a few things one can draw among them:
    * That even when the richer folks mean well, the mere act of charity makes the recepient feel less than the giver.
    * How people measure their self-worth on the basis of how much money they have.
    I really hope you get a chance to see that episode it really is open to all sorts of interpratations if you use it as a lite way to analyse the relationship between wealthy and poorer nations.

  • By Caustic Blonde, December 29, 2008 @ 9:44 pm

    I could not get the video to load and I have never watched friends as a matter of fact I rarely watch any TV let alone shows like Friends. I will say this, one of the problems with poverty in this world is that people tend to think just “throwing” money at it will somehow eradicate it. I don’t give to any of the charities that are supposed to help third world countries etc. because it is my firm belief that most of it ends up in the hands of corrupt individuals and The United States Government sees fit to tax me to death anyway throwing a good chunk of my money (and many others) at said problem.

  • By Mwangi, December 30, 2008 @ 3:39 am

    @Caustic: Long time no hear. Good to see ya!

    Yet another American not familiar with Friends….wow! If you examine the way US and other Western governments have used so called aid you actually realize its an absolutely brilliant tool of control that is many things but not charity e.g.

    *Send to us any excess food products from the US as aid, even though the country might produce the very product we are receiving. We have to pay for it, watch our own farmers get pushed out of business by the cheaper American product but apparently this is aid.
    * Compound interest loans that line the pockets of our politicians that are then used to force “structural adjustments” – open up our markets, allow exploitation of our resources, stop funding schools, subsidies and support for farmers etc etc, so that American and European companies come in find weakened economies and dominate.

    As for charity organizations, I have heard all sorts of theories and ideas as to why they exist but almost all of them have to do with political control.
    Its not that they don’t go where they are intended.

    Me thinks, these charity organizations and this aid do exactly what they are supposed to do: after all would we honestly expect after more than a century since the scramble of Africa, Western ruling institutions would stop trying to exploit Africa.

    There was a very cool documentary done on how this was done in Jamaica – including tax free zones, how the Clinton administration killed of the milk industry – its brilliant, fascinating and callous all at the same time.

    One final note: If the bailout proves anything, the money to help Africa was always there, just not the desire to really do anything.

  • By Ken, January 12, 2009 @ 6:45 pm

    Mwangi, Happy New Year!!

    Still trying to load that clip…

    I have watched that documentary on Jamaica, a very sad picture indeed!!
    At the end of the day nothing is free especially for a resource rich continent like ours… if we can not collectively selfishly manage our resources, we are doomed.. I will try and expound on this topic a little later on….

  • By Mwangi, January 13, 2009 @ 1:35 pm

    Please feel free to expound on the topic. The documentary was brilliant and it really showed how systematic and calculated our poverty is, at least on the side of the wealthier nations.

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