Samaritans gone wrong?

The Stream discusses the real-life inspiration for a new Kenyan TV comedy mocking aid workers.

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  1. 'The Samaritans', a new Kenyan TV show pokes fun at the absurdities of NGO culture in developing countries. The comedy produced in mockumentary style revolves around the Kenyan office of 'Aid for Aid', a fictional NGO with no purpose. 

    'Aid for Aid' employs different clichéd characters such as Scott, a young ignorant American with little experience in development. He is appointed director of the NGO, upsetting an ambitious Kenyan women, Martha, who has spent her career in development. The show also features a white aid worker wearing African-style braids in her hair, who comes back from her holidays with a much younger Kenyan husband.
  2. The Samaritans Comedy Trailer
  3. The show hits a sensitive spot in the controversial debate on NGOs in developing countries. Many netizens embraced its satirical approach. 
  4. Others had mixed feelings about it.
  5. Hussein Kurji, creator of The Samaritans, says friends' stories working with NGOs inspired him. His show is in tune with a growing number of blogs and videos mocking the aid industry or western views on Africa. 
  6. One example is the satirical charity single "Africa for Norway" which went viral in 2012. 
  7. Africa For Norway - New charity single out now! Official christmas video
  8. 'Tripp and Tyler', an American comedy duo mocks "One for One" campaigns promoting smoothie machines for African villages. 
  9. TIMS -- A Revolutionary New One for One Campaign
  10. The song "Development Boy" based on the rap 'American Boy' makes fun of young westerners using aid work for a jet set life style.  
  11. There are also cartoon videos that poke fun at humanitarian aid workers. 
  12. International Aid Worker Cocktail - Sudan
  13. I want to be an aid worker
  14. This blog gathers satirical observations on the life of expat aid workers.
  15. The background to the jokes is a fierce debate - whether development aid is doing good, or if it's a form of NGO-colonialism. Many online criticise corruption or the condescending attitude of western NGOs. 
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