Let's face it; model Naomi Campbell's long-anticipated appearance at the Charles Taylor war crimes tribunal in The Hague is akin to life imitating art. It is the stuff that actual movies are made of. I can just imagine the synopsis for the upcoming blockbuster...
The Beauty, The Despot and the Blood Diamonds
Our heroine, the forever radiant, always weavelicious international superstar model Miss Rayomie Rambell escapes the hustle and bustle of life as a jet-setting supermodel to sojourn in the blissfully enchanting African Kingdom of Zamunda. While in Zamunda, Miss Rambell attends a grand banquet hosted by the benevolent King Jaffe Joffer. One of the other guests at the dinner is the evil, conniving dictator of the nation of Mogambo, Kunta Kinte. Mr. Kinte is charmed by the sultry supermodel and presents her with a gift of sparkling diamonds. She graciously wears these on a necklace. Years later, Mr. Kinte is implicated in fuelling a vicious and ferocious conflict in Mogambo's peaceful neigbour, Narnia. This conflict revolves around the control and extraction of diamonds.There is no evidence linking the cunning Mr. Kinte to the vicious civil war and he is just about to get away with his heinous crimes. In the closing scene of the film, Miss Rambell bursts into the international tribunal that is trying Mr. Kinte and demands to be heard by the panel of judges. In a cinematographically dramatic moment akin to the courtroom scene in To Kill a Mocking Bird, our heroine tears the diamond necklace off her neck and holds it up declaring that the diamonds were given to her by Mr. Kinte and that they are proof that he was involved in the deadly conflict. There are cheers of joy in the courtroom as victims of the conflict mouth the words "Thank you" and tears of joy roll down Miss Rambell's high sculptured cheekbones. The film closes with Nkosi Sikelel' iAfriKa (God Bless Africa) playing in the background. Justice prevails as good triumphs over evil.
Rayomie Ramble ----------------- Kerry Washington
Evil Kunta Kinte ------------------ Denzel Washington***
***Yes, Denzel Washington as the evil despot. After all, we know Denzel can play bad people. Did someone say Training Day? Besides, what's a big black blockbuster movie without Denzel?? What's any blockbuster movie without Denzel?
Unfortunately, real-life is more complex and far less polished. As it turns out the 'diamonds' were hardly the proverbial "girl's best friends". Ms. Campbell herself described them as "dirty stones". Moreover, Naomi Campbell is not quite the Hollywood heroine by blockbuster standards. She is stunning but however, is also notorious for her ability to deliver a mean bitch-slap to her employees as well as a perchance for throwing tantrums and assaulting various people. Who can forget that she actually refused to appear at the tribunal and eventually did so only when subpoenaed. According to excerpts of her testimony available on the BBC news online website, she said her appearance was "an inconvenience" I think Ms. Campbell must have gotten that word lost in translation! She also went on to explain that she feared for the safety of her family.
Perhaps the most surprising revelation that may have stunned Africologists and Afrophiles alike, was the following excerpt from BBC online:
When asked if she had also believed Charles Taylor had sent the Diamonds;
"I assumed it was. I don't know anything about Charles Taylor. Never heard of him before, never heard of the country Liberia before. I never heard of the term 'blood diamonds' before. So I just assumed that it was."
Clearly, Supermodel Finishing school needs to expand its curriculum to include a little geography, current affairs, decorum and above all altruism. This way, highly successful alumni will not go out and make complete asses of themselves in public.
Naomi Campbell oops I mean Kerry Washington