A Rock Star Who Champions
By United Kingdom News Group
(Originally in English)
Paul David Hewson was born on May 10, 1960, in Dublin, Ireland. Later known as Bono Vox (meaning “good voice”), he might be one of the most influential icons in musical rock-and-roll history.
The band that later became U2 was formed in October 1976 with Bono as its front man. In 1987, U2 rose to super-stardom and Bono was quickly placed at the center of international media attention. From the beginning he has always had a great stage presence with a natural flair for interacting with the audience, a gift Bono has also drawn on for humanitarian callings. From a high-profile meeting with US President George Bush, to his open support of an increase in Canada’s foreign aid, to backing the need for famine relief in Ethiopia, to his outspoken comments about nuclear testing in France, Bono has consistently used his celebrity status to draw attention to human rights issues. People around the world admire, criticize or pray for him, but his passion in speaking up on behalf of the less fortunate seems to be ever-growing.
Bono’s first move as a social activist came in 1984, when he joined other musicians in the project Band Aid and helped raise millions to relieve famine in Africa. The following year, he performed at Live Aid, and in 2005, he organized the Live 8 tour. In fact, since 1999 he has become increasingly involved in global campaigns on behalf of developing countries and to relieve the plight of Africa. Perhaps Bono’s most extensive social campaign was Jubilee 2000, another project organized to cancel third world debts. During the Jubilee 2000 campaign, Bono as group ambassador met with Pope John Paul II, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and US Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
In May 2002, Bono took US Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill on a four-country tour of Africa. Later that year, Bono and a few others co-founded DATA (Debts, AIDS, and Trade for Africa), an organization that aims to raise awareness about Africa’s debts, uncontrolled spread of AIDS and unfair trade rules that hurt the continent’s already disadvantaged citizens. In 2005, instead of being just a performing guest, Bono played a primary role in organizing and publicizing Live 8. This was a series of 10 concerts around the globe aimed at raising awareness for an upcoming G-8 Summit meeting that would encourage the representatives of the world’s eight leading industrialized countries to write off Africa’s enormous debt, reform trade policy, and grant a great deal more aid for crises such as the AIDS epidemic.
However, possibly the most special move has been the launch of EDUN, a socially conscious fashion line set up by Bono Vox and wife Ali Hewson. By using factories based in Africa, South America and India that provide fair wages to the workers and practice good business ethics, EDUN hopes to create a business model that encourages others to invest in developing countries, thereby helping those countries and their people to prosper for themselves.
Perhaps because of his humanitarian compassion, Bono Vox was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003, 2005 and 2006. And his work in promoting a balanced global economy may be the reason his name is one of “Time’s 100 Most Influential People,” alongside Bill and Melinda Gates. But, as he has said, all his efforts are to spread just one simple message: to stop asking God to bless what we want to do, but to get involved in what God is doing—because it’s already blessed.