Dr. Clooney, I Presume?

An interactive map of the celebrity recolonization of Africa.

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

OVERSIZED SHADES have replaced pith helmets, but the new scramble for Africa has its share of adventurers, would-be saviors, and even turf battles. As Madonna’s publicist explains, “She’s focusing on Malawi. South Africa is Oprah’s territory.”

The map below takes a lighter look at the sometimes serious, sometimes silly business of celebrity altruism. For more on how Africa became the hottest continent for A-list do-gooders like Bono and Brangelina, see here. And if you’re looking for a more sober approach, check out our recent package on human rights.

Click on a country to learn which celebrity has claimed it, and how.


—Photos: Affleck, Aiken, Akon: Reuters; Bono: Rémy Steinegger/WEF/swiss-image.ch; Brangelina: Reuters; Branson: Kim Shiflett/NASA; Bruni-Sarkozy: Rémi Jouan; Campbell: Jesse Gross; Cheadle: Reuters; Clinton: Monika Flueckiger/WEF/swiss-image.ch; Clooney: Nicolas Genin; Damon: Miguel Ángel Azúa García; DiCaprio: Colin Chau; Eggers: David Shankbone; Farrow: Pierre Holtz; Gates: Sebastian Derungs/WEF/swiss-image.ch; Geldof: Stephen Jaffe/IMF; Glover: Matt Stoller; Hayek: Reuters; Hayes: Starstock/Photoshot/Newscom; Hilton: Glenn Francis/PacificProDigital.com; Hilton (w/child): Kim Ludbrook/epa/Corbis; Jackson (w/children): Peter Morey/WENN; Jackson, Jay-Z: Reuters; Johansson: Sgt. Bryson K. Jones/US Marine corps; John: Richard Mushet; Jolie: Rémy Steinegger/WEF/swiss-image.ch; Kardashian: Glenn Francis/PacificProDigital.com; Keys: José Goulão; Lange, Legend, Liu, Lohan: Reuters; Macpherson: Manfred Werner; Madden: Reuters; Madonna: David Shankbone; Martin: Reuters; M.I.A.: Juan Soliz/PacificCoastNews.com/Newscom; Milano: Jennifer H (flickr); Oprah: Alan Light; Parker: Reuters; Portman: Makoto2007 (flickr); Princess Diana, Prince Harry: Reuters; Raekwon: Patrick Staubesand/Action Press/ZUMA Press; Simpson: Reuters; Smith: Paul K. Stanley; Turlington: Luke Ford; West: David Shankbone; Whitaker: Pierre Omidyar; Williams: Reuters


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend