A column from Edge's blog by Regina O'Numb

This column is part of Edge's blog by Regina O'Numb. The words and pics are by Debbie Kreuser.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Update My 25, 2011

FOR BONO: Vision Over Visibility

I first learned about Bono & Edge's involvement with a musical version of “Spider-Man” several years ago. At first, I wasn't sure about this idea until I heard them speak so passionately about this project. It was then that other “side projects” that Bono & Edge had been involved with in the past came to mind (like “Peter and the Wolf” or MusicRising) that I began to warm up to this idea. As a U2 follower of over thirty years, I know that often U2 does its BEST work as a group when members of the band have had the chance to creatively express themselves OUTSIDE the group – so why wouldn't this be a good idea? Besides, I thought that it would be interesting to see just what the two of them would come up with for a “Spider-Man” musical!

So when tickets went on sale last September, I immediately bought a ticket for “closing day” - 17 April. Perhaps because I only needed one ticket, I was able to score the ticket of a lifetime for this production – Balcony Row A, Seat 113. I was virtually in the middle of the first row of the balcony section and could see everything in the production, from the stage to the flying, unencumbered by any obstacle. It was PERFECT!

I found a great price on a plane ticket & a decent place to stay for a few days near Central Park West and began my preparation for my date with Spiderman. I arrived in NYC on a very rainy Saturday afternoon. The following day (the day of my Spider-Man matinee), I rose early - full of excitement – and started my MAGNIFICENT day by walking to Strawberry Fields in Central Park to visit the “IMAGINE” mosaic in honor of John Lennon.

Taking the subway to Times Square, I spent several hours walking around the area & enjoying the pace of NYC. Soon enough, it was time to get in line and keep that date with Spiderman!

Once inside and in my seat, I eagerly awaited the start of the production. Seated next to me was a young boy & his grandmother who had seen a lot of Broadway shows (including “The Lion King” also by Julie Taymor) but he REALLY loved this production. Maybe it was the flying, maybe it was the music & the choreography but something about “Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark” had captured this little boy's heart....and I wanted to find out if it would capture mine.

As the curtain raised & the lights dimmed, I began beaming like a child. THIS WAS IT – I was finally going to see Bono & Edge's special project that they had been so excited about for so long!

The first thing that grabbed my attention was the upbeat nature of the music (pure rock n roll) and the EXCELLENT choreography which accompanied it. You could see the long hours of practice that went into the making of this show – it certainly deserved more credit than it had gotten from the NYC theater critics.

By the third musical number “Bullying by Numbers”, I was hooked. I could barely stay in my seat – I wanted so much to get up & dance! I had to remember that this was not a U2 concert but a Broadway show (although Edge was purportedly sitting in the “U2 section” directly in my view, albeit in a bit of a disguise).

The set designs were bright in color and very modern. The set changes often came quickly (sometimes too quickly). In all, the first half of the show progressed quite well, especially a BEAUTIFUL rendition of “Rise Above” which almost brought tears to my eyes, and I really couldn't understand what the negative reviews of “Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark” were all about.

The second act proceeded a bit more slowly than the first act & seemed to get a bit lost in its story-telling. Still. It was “saved” by such GREAT performances during the songs “Walk Away”, “If the World Should End” and my favorite “The Boy Falls From the Sky”.

The flying scenes in “Spider-Man” were AMAZING and worth every penny of the admission price to see. The flying fight scene between Spiderman and the Green Goblin was a combination of Cirque du Soleil & Marvel Comics – simply BREATH-TAKING. I was beginning to understand what kept the young boy sitting next to me coming back to see this production.

The show ended with a rousing standing ovation for the cast and crew of “Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark” and an invitation from onstage for all of us to come back and see “Spider-Man 2.0”. From the audience's enthusiastic response, I'm sure that all of us will do just that at some point in the future.

About a hundred people gathered outside the Foxwoods Theater after the show was over to watch the performers come out. It was interesting to watch the NYC media all compete with each other to interview the cast members as they came out of the building. Weren't these some of the same reporters & news media outlets who had dissed this production so much? Why would they be interested in talking to them now?

I was quite impressed with the calm & very professional manner in which the “star” of this production, Reeve Carney (aka Spiderman), interacted with the press & with the screaming young female fans waiting for him to sign their Spiderman programs. ( Even I had a “moment” with Reeve but that will stay private.)

In all, I would agree with the critics that some revision of the production was necessary. The story line needed improvement, the segueway between musical numbers made more smooth, the musical input of Bono & Edge made more emphatic. These revisions amd more have since been made to this production, now comically named “Spider-Man 2.0” by Bono, and from the reviews of it so far, it is a much improved show, worthy of any Broadway opening. (It will finally open on Broadway next month.) I WISH IT WELL....

This concludes my brief review of “Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark”. In my next post, I'll begin to explore some of the reasons WHY I think that this production, including Bono himself, have received such a negative response from the critics and U2 fans themselves.

Until then, WELCOME BACK TO THE USA, U2! We've waited two years to see you so - MAKE IT GOOD. (I know that you will)

ONLY LOVE, debbie:)

by Deborah Kreuser ♫ worldview_14@yahoo.com

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Update May 8, 2011

FOR BONO: Vision Over Visibility

This is my first entry in a series of essays regarding my impressions of Spiderman TOTD (which I was fortunate enough to see in NYC on 17 April - Regina, Edge was there! I saw him!) and & of why I think the reaction to it has been so negative from those outside of the U2 community & from those INSIDE the U2 community. It's going to be a hard-hitting commentary and I'm prepared to get some flak for it. But those who speak truth are never appreciated immediately. It's only with time that the correctness of their observations are realized.

To highlight the fact that Bono has been doing side projects outside of U2 for many years (going back to the 1980's), I've picked a favorite of mine to share in this post . In 2002-2003, Bono was a major part of a remake of "Peter and the Wolf" done to benefit the Irish Hospice Foundation, the organization which took care of Bono's da, Bob, in his waning weeks of life in the Summer of 2001.

Bono's part was to try his hand at illustrating the text of the book which he pursued with relish. To help him with this project was his two daughters, Jordan & Eve, who worked with their father to make the intricate floral decoration on the pages of the book. The three of them worked as a team on this project & probably helped each other to heal emotionally from the loss of Bob Hewson.

Here is a video showing some of the work behind the scenes of "Peter and the Wolf". It's one of the most delightful videos of Bono that I've ever seen. It shows him as he is offstage - with his children & his friends. This project took almost two years to complete & may very well have been part of the reason why the U2 album HTDAAB took so long to be released.

Why the flak for Bono now over Spiderman TOTD & NOT the flak several years ago over this side project? I'll start exploring that issue in my next post.

ONLY LOVE, debbie:)

PS: WELCOME BACK 360 TOUR! We are eager to see you again in North America. Have a GREAT opening in Mexico this week!

For more info on on this project, please visit:


Deborah Kreuser ♫ worldview_14@yahoo.c​om

Monday, 11 April 2011

When Dreams Meet Reality: Bob Geldof in Austin

Bob Geldof was in Austin last month to attend the SXSW Music Conference as its Keynote Speaker and to perform two concerts while here in promotion of his newest CD "How to Compose Popular Songs That Will Sell". Yes, this is the Bob Geldof of Live Aid fame - the same Bob Geldof who was one of the organizers of the now classic Christmas charity song "Do They Know It's Christmastime At All?". The same Bob Geldof of the Boomtown Rats fame & that same Bob Geldof who has been making himself a pest of world leaders in defense of the world's poor (Thank God) - THAT Bob Geldof.

As I always loved Bob Geldof, especially his honesty & his integrity, and had never seen him in concert - I was THRILLED that Bob was playing a FREE concert the day after St. Patrick's Day in Austin. I knew that I HAD to be there. This may very well be a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to see (and hopefully meet) one of the men whom I most admire in life and whom has always been a sort of mentor to me in my social activism for Africa.

I won't provide all the details of that day but here is the best recollection of some of my experiences of that day at Jovitas in Austin. It is to give you some of my thoughts of that day & to paint an accurate picture of what transpired there.

Dancing in the Moonlight

Bob & his band were the headline act at an event entitled "Dancing in the Moonlight" at Jovitas in Austin which featured at least a dozen other Irish bands, including The Mighty Steph & BP Fallon (a personal favorite of mine). This was SXSW's 25th anniversary year & it is also the 25th anniversary year of the passing of legendary Thin Lizzy frontman, Phil Lynnott - thus the event was entitled "Dancing in the Moonlight" after one of Thin Lizzy's seminal songs.


It was a warm, humid yet beautiful night when Bob & band took the stage about 7:30 pm for this outdoor concert. Several hundred people were in attendance, ranging in various ages. I was there with several other Bob Geldof fans & was able to get a spot right in front of the stage slightly to the left of Bob's mic. With me was the eight year old daughter of one of my friends who was completely enthralled by attending her first big concert.

Bob came out wearing a really stunning ensemble - a black shirt with white polka dots over which he wore a green iridescent suit. For Bob Geldof, this was a very good look. Bob would sing songs from throughout his 35 year old musical career with a band composed of several longtime musical associates & former Boomtown Rats. The significance of this was not lost to me - as I remembered how U2 have stuck together as a band & as friends through their career which has paralleled the same virtual length of time as Bob & his band. (There is something good to be said about the Irish sense of loyalty.)

The concert lasted a full ninety minutes. Crowd favorites were several songs which evoked a TRUE Irish feel to them (replete with Bob dancing!) and several songs from his newest CD "How to Compose Popular Songs That Will Sell" (even Bob joked about the title of the CD and of how he came to use it for his latest CD). He was very open to the audience onstage - speaking effortlessly about the pains in his past, especially regarding his ex-wife Paula Yates, and of how he has mellowed a bit through the years.

For me, I would find this refreshing coming from any artist but coming from Bob Geldof - a man who always seemed to need to be in complete control of every situation in his life - the ability now to be vunerable with his audience was an experience that I'll never forget. This wasn't faked intimacy that I sometimes see coming from others onstage - this was REAL INTIMACY & I was REJOICING inside, just a few centimeters away from him, that Bob has perhaps found what he was looking for in life.

The absolute highlights of the concert for me was Bob's rousing performance of "I Don't Like Mondays" & his somewhat tearful, sincere goodbye to us of "Here's to You" which closed out the performance.

I must give Bob a "thumbs up" on one other thing. As we all know, Bob is easy to use expletives in his conversations. That's a longtime trademark of his & perhaps an ingrained habit. So he started using the F word fairly regularly in his talks with us from onstage until he noticed the eight year old girl with me virtually right in front of him. After that, I noticed that he consciously watched his language & the expletives were normally replaced with less offensive terms. Such is the REAL Bob Geldof - a loving father and protector of children (truth be known).

Thanks Bob Geldof for an outstanding concert & for simply being you. ~

PS: Before the concert, I did get the chance to go inside the artist area where Bob & BP Fallon and band members were staying. I had the chance the previous day to meet BP Fallon and have a lovely talk with him so this time my hope was to meet Bob. I had no planned speech prepared for him - I just wanted to let the moment unfold as it would. As he was approaching, Bob saw me & my friend and stopped to say hello. My friend had met Bob before & really wanted this to be my moment. (yes - there still are some great music fans out here)

I was standing on a rock waiting for Bob to approach us so when he stopped to speak with me, I was his height & able to look him him right in the eyes, barely six inches away from him. What I saw in his eyes was a refreshing spirit of joy, of life and of a little flirtatiousness (Irish men are good at this - smile). His smile beamed on his face & he seemed to be truly "in the moment" with me.

He told how much he liked my green paper bead jewelry from Uganda (made by Bono's friend Agnes Nyamayarwo and the women of the MPWN) and smiled when he saw my ONE band on my wrist.

I could have gone on about Africa with him but I simply told him how much he has meant to me through the years & has emboldened me in my own social activism for Africa. I thanked him for all the years of musical memories that he has given us & told him that I was THRILLED that he is back doing something he truly loves - performing his music.

It will always be several minutes of my life that I will NEVER forget. ~

Deborah Kreuser ♫ worldview_14@yahoo.c​om

Thursday, 24 March 2011

UPDATE - February 19, 2011
FOR BONO: Vision Over Visibility

In my last post, I posed the idea that we had GREAT things to look forward to from U2 in February - and was I correct! The U2 concerts in South Africa this past week were some of the most TRULY AMAZING concerts that I have ever heard or seen U2 do on the 360 tour, especially the 18 Feb. concert in Cape Town.

Maybe it was the fact that this concert was streamed live online for the whole world to hear that helped to make the Cape Town concert FEEL so special. I agree with those fans who think that EVERY U2 concert should be streamed live on the U2.com website for subscribers. It's a GREAT idea to win back some subscribers who have become disenchanted with the way that Live Nation runs the fansite and it shows U2 fans just how much the band & its management want to provide an extraordinary experience for them at the band's official website.

There were many special moments during the South African concerts. The appearances of Hugh Masekela, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, the Springbok Nude Girls and Amadou & Mariam gave the international U2 community a good introduction to the variety of African music today - an introduction that I hope U2 fans will continue to develope with these and other African musicians.

And then there was perhaps the strangest yet the most endearing introduction of the band by Bono before ISHFWILF in Cape Town when he introduced them as meerkats, lemurs & llamas and, in return, was quite appropriately introduced by Edge as a wildebeast!

But for me, perhaps the highlight of the Cape Town concert was when Bono publicly recognized an old ally of his in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa who was in attendance at the concert that night - Zackie Achmat.

For those who do not know who Zackie is, I'll post a link below where you can begin to find out more info on this TRUE HERO of the historic fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa. Zackie actually won the public praise of Nelson Mandela for being willing to risk his own life to make sure that fellow South Africans had access to affordable antiretroviral drugs (ARV's)!


This recognition from the stage by Bono of an ICON of the struggle against HIV/AIDS in Africa reminds me of when Bono recognized my longtime friend & African AIDS activist, Agnes Nyamayarwo of Uganda, from the stage TWICE during the 360 tour in the USA in October 2009.

Many U2 fans will remember Agnes as the African woman who spoke alongside Bono from 2002-2007, travelling around the world with him to spread awareness of the AIDS crisis in Africa amd mobilizing thousands of people to petition their governments to spend more money on stopping AIDS around the world.

Agnes was with Bono at the start of DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa), at the founding of the ONE Campaign & even appeared in the (RED) edition of Vanity Fair magazine several years ago.

When Bono recognized Agnes from the stage during the performance of "One" at the Raleigh and Dallas concerts, I was there in attendance with her both nights as was my friend, Sue. Agnes was in the USA at the request of the U2 Conference where she was a main presenter.

If you have ever wanted to see/hear Agnes speak or to ask her a question - you're in luck!

This Saturday, 26 February, Agnes and the HIV+ women with whom she works, the Mulago Positive Women's Network (MPWN) will be hosting a LIVE, INTERACTIVE online forum where they will talk about their lives and demonstrate how they make some of the various African craft items that they sell to make a modest living and support their families.

If you would like to be a part of this online forum on Saturday, 26 February, then all you'll need to do is to click on the link below and enter the forum as a guest. Just make sure that you have a headset & webcam to maximize your participation in this forum.
The forum is scheduled between 2pm - 4pm GMT (9:00am - 11:00 am EST). We hope to see you there.


And THANK YOU, BONO, for never forgetting who the REAL HEROES of the struggle against HIV/AIDS in Africa truly are!

ONLY LOVE, debbie:) worldview_14@yahoo.com

Monday, 31 January 2011

FOR BONO: Vision Over Visibility

January is usually a very slow month for U2 news. Most years you will find the band keeping a low profile at the start of the year....but not this year! From Bono and Edge attending preview performances of their Broadway musical “Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark” to revelations that Adam Clayton is now the father of a one year old son to Larry Mullen's appearance in an upcoming Canadian movie, this has been a January FULL of U2 news! So here are some of my thoughts on this month, January 2011, in U2 news.

The revelation about Adam Clayton's fatherhood for the last year really did not take me by surprise. Not that I knew that Adam had a son but I DO know that U2, like any other group of famous people, only allow the public to know what they WANT the public to know about their personal lives!

As a Rock band at the top of international popularity for over twenty-five years, U2 have seen many things and done many things that their fans will never know about. Some of these things U2 have alluded to in interviews through the years and some of this is just plain common sense.

For any U2 fan to think that all there has been of Adam's, Larry's, Edge's and Bono's personal lives is what the public knows about them is simply illusional. The band members have their public lives with their fans and their private lives with their families /friends.

We are not privy to the details of their private lives and neither should we think that we should be. The admission about Adam's private life as a father should be a “wake up call” for those fans in the U2 community who think that they know all there is to know about the band – you don't, and you never will. I accept this fact about U2 and highly encourage others to do the same.

Bono's appearance at Sargent Shriver's funeral on 22 January was especially poignant for me. I have met Bono and Bobby Shriver several times over the last ten years through my support and activism for ONE & (RED). As the founding members of these organizations, Bono and Bobby Shriver have worked well together, often behind the scenes, to keep ONE & (RED) the progressive and EFFECTIVE organizations that they are.

Bono has often mentioned about the TREMENDOUS influence that Bobby's father, Sargent Shriver, has had in the formation of Bono's philosophy in building a movement of support for Africa. Thus, it made perfect sense for Bono to attend the funeral and to be a part of the memorial service. Bono's musical rendition of “The Prayer of St. Francis” was one of the most heartfelt performances of his that I have seen in awhile.

THANK YOU, BONO, for sharing with all of us a very difficult personal moment for you. We will miss “Sarge” very much.

Lastly, I was very heartened to see the quick & fervent response by both Bono and Bobby Shriver to media criticism of The Global Fund, which ONE advocates for funding of by world governments and which benefits from the money raised by (RED).

Shriver was VERY EFFECTIVE in his editorial comments and during his appearance on the U.S. television program “The O'Reilly Factor” in answering the unfair media criticism of the Global Fund. Bobby did a GREAT job in advocating for the world's poor at a time when he was still in mourning for the loss of his father. The Global Fund has a great advocate in Bobby Shriver and we should all keep up our support of (RED) to benefit it!

At the same time as Shriver was advocating for the Global Fund in the U.S. media, Bono was making several EXCEPTIONAL appearances at the World Economic Forum in Davos and continuing his advocacy for the Millenium Development Goals (MDG's). Bono was especially eloquent in delivering his ideas this year at Davos and seemed more determined than ever to get across his message - which I think he truly succeeded at.

WOW - what a month in U2 news! Next up is February with the 360 Tour starting soon in South Africa – get ready for a GREAT U2 year. ~ ONLY LOVE, debbie ♥♥

foxnews.com Charity Issues Adressed

Deborah Kreuser ♫ worldview_14@yahoo.com

Thursday, 30 December 2010

FOR BONO: Vision Over Visibility

This has been an interesting year for many of us – a worldwide recession which shows no real sign of leaving, environmental catastrophes (the BP oil spill) and natural disasters (earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, flooding in Pakistan) and increasing levels of human rights violations around the world (China, Russia, Ivory Coast, etc). U2 have also seen an interesting year with the postponement of the North American leg of the 360 tour due to Bono's back surgery in May, the harassment of social activist organizations (Amnesty International and ONE) during the 360 tour concert in Moscow and the continuing problems associated with the Broadway musical “Spiderman, Turn Off the Dark” with music composed by Bono and the Edge.

The one shining event which uplifted all of our hearts was the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi from seven years of house arrest in Burma. After years of singing “Walk On' to spur her release from house arrest, U2 were singing the “Rejoice” refrain from their song “Scarlet” to celebrate this human rights victory.

I, for one, will be glad to see 2010 go. It was a personally difficult year for me with the loss of a job and the loss of my mother. Since March, there seems to have been a dreary grey cloud hanging over my head. No matter what I have done to advance, forces have seemed to conspire to stalemate me. This has
sometimes led me to experience some sad moments but I always rebound stronger than before!

The new year is already looking better for me with the promise of a possible new job starting soon and the trip I was just able to book to go to NYC in April to see “Spiderman, Turn Off the Dark” - the new Broadway musical with songs composed by Bono and Edge.

Whether we see it or not, there is always something to be grateful for. And this year, like the thirty years that preceded it, I am grateful for the presence of U2 and their music in my life. They have travelled down this road of life as my constant musical companions, filling my days and lighting my nights with their always hopeful music.

And at the start of a New Year, my thoughts naturally go to one song “New Year's Day”. Thus, as I do every year since, I'm including an article that I wrote for a U2 fansite seven years ago about this TRULY INCREDIBLE SONG. I hope that you'll enjoy reading it and will make every effort in the new year to “begin again”. Have a GREAT 2011!


With its soaring vocals and nearly perfect rhythm
lines, "New Year's Day" emerged in the early 1980's as
a U2 favorite. Composed of simple words, it stirred a
timeless hope and belief in the souls of all those who
heard it - the aspiration for freedom and unity for
people around the world. This theme would continue to
follow U2's songwriting in the years to come (Pride, One,
Please, Walk On, etc.). And with its
message of Peace and Goodwill for all humanity, it is
the perfect U2 song to reflect on as we start the year

“All is quiet on New Year's Day
A world in white gets underway
I want to be with you
Be with you night and day
Nothing changes on New Year's Day
On New Year's Day

I will be with you again
I will be with you again”

According to Niall Stokes in "U2: Into the Heart",
"New Year's Day" probably began as a love song from
Bono to Ali, but quickly became something more. In
1980, the Solidarity movement in Poland under the
leadership of future Nobel Peace Prize winner and
President Lech Walesa openly challenged the oppressive
rule of the then Polish government. In December 1981,
the Solidarity movement was outlawed and Walesa (and
its other leaders) were arrested and put in jail. As
Bono tells it: "Subconsciously I must have been
thinking about Lech Walesa being interned and his wife
not being allowed to see him. Then, when we'd recorded
the song, they announced that martial law would be
lifted in Poland on New Year's Day. Incredible."

The song continues to document the growing
movement of people clamoring for freedom and justice
throughout Eastern Europe in the early 1980's.

“Under a blood red sky
A crowd has gathered in black and white
Arms entwined, the chosen few
The newspapers say it's true
It's true...
And we can break through
Though torn in two
We can be one”

OK - great song. But what is the significance of
this song for us in 2004?

It resides in the power of FOUR words: I WILL
BEGIN AGAIN. The willingness to start over, to "begin
again", may be the singular most important idea that
we can gleam from U2's music and is a very appropriate
concept to consider at the start of a new year.

U2's music(and Bono's lyrics) have always given us
a sense of empowerment - the knowing deep within us
that we have the ability to change ourselves (and our
world). We CAN recreate ourselves, become better human
beings, bring Hope and Love to our world. And if U2's
music hasn't motivated us to "begin again", the
personal trials, tribulations and ultimate triumphs of
Bono's life should.

Bono's life and career has been an evolving
tale(some would say a parable or teaching story) of
one man's decision to CHOOSE good over "bad", hope
over despair, action over apathy, grace over karma.
And, in the process, he has given us a BRILLIANT life
which we can affirm and emulate.

So, as we start the year 2004, let us remember
this magnificent song by U2 and on "New Year's Day"
let our resolution simply be: I WILL BEGIN AGAIN!

by Deborah Kreuser - ♫ - worldview_14@yahoo.com

Sunday, 28 November 2010

FOR BONO: Vision Over Visibility

Many U2 fans and followers have long admired U2 for their social activism for issues as diverse as the environment (Greenpeace) to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (Amnesty International). One of the areas that U2 will be best remembered for in terms of their social activism is Bono's strident advocacy for Africa with his involvement in the establishment of several organizations devoted to a brighter future for the Continent - EDUN, (RED) and, of course, ONE.

This Weds, 1 Dec 2010, World AIDS Day, marks the eight anniversary of "The Heart of America" tour which featured Bono, Ashley Judd, Chris Tucker and several other famous people travelling to nine cities around the "heartland" of the USA speaking about the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa and of how average Americans could help them through advocacy for Africa's Future by joining with Bono's new organization, DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa).

This tour would also introduce to the world a new spokesperson for Africa, Bono's choice for a "face" of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa - Agnes Nyamayarwo of Uganda.

Bono had met Agnes in May 2002 during his infamous trip to Africa with then U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill. They had visited the office of TASO Uganda ( www.tasouganda.org ) and Bono was so overwhelmed by Agnes' personal life story and the way that she carried herself with dignity, courage and grace, that he recruited her to come to the USA to join him and the others to speak her truth....which she did.

Agnes came to Lincoln Nebraska on World AIDS Day, 1 Dec 2002, and joined the others present there at the forum. She quickly won over the audience's hearts as she shared her story with them that evening in Lincoln.

I know - because I was there. I got the chance to meet most of the participants in that first DATA event, including Agnes and Bono to thank them for bringing to public awareness the situation for people in Africa suffering the adverse effects of HIV/AIDS.

Agnes would go on and stick close to Bono's side over the next five years of African advocacy through DATA, and then through ONE, which came into existence in May 2004.

I met Agnes again in March 2007 at a regional ONE training workshop in Houston and my life has never been the same. We instantly bonded on many levels - as mothers, as women, as social activists. I think we both knew that day that we would be friends for life and that either one of us would do whatever they could for the other.

That was March 2007 - this is November 2010 and nothing has changed. We are as close today as ever....if not more so.

Agnes recruited me to help her to publicize to the world about the women's group that she founded in January 2004 - the Mulago Positive Women's Network (MPWN) of Uganda - a group of women receiving their AIDS meds from TASO Uganda but who had banded together in a women's economic co-operative to try to better support themselves and their children through the sale of their authentically African handmade crafts.

As someone who has long loved crafts from around the world, especially Africa, this was a no-brainer for me. I immediately started posting at U2 fansites about Agnes and the MPWN, started a MySpace page for them, developed a modest website for them and finally found a home for the MPWN at Agnes' Facebook page.

Over the last three years, we have sold approximately $10,000 in MPWN crafts for the women and raised thousands of people's consciousnesses regarding Agnes and the MPWN....but more needs to be done.

And on this World AIDS Day, 1 Dec 2010 - eight years from the start of "The Heart of America" tour - Agnes and the MPWN will launch a new venture that YOU ARE INVITED TO JOIN IN.

Every month, Agnes Nyamayarwo and the women of the Mulago Positive Women's Network will be hosting LIVE interactive online forums at the link below. You will be able to join them in their forum and hear them speak DIRECTLY TO YOU about their daily lives, their needs and their hopes for the future.

You will be able to ask them questions and each month they will feature a different craft item that they make and demonstrate to you exactly how that craft item is made!

It is a BRILLIANT, low-cost way to connect people around the world who support the empowerment of some of the world's poorest women by allowing them control of technology which can vastly improve their lives.

The broadcast will be live between 10:00am - 12:00pm EST on 1 Dec 2010 at this link:


PLEASE JOIN US ON WORLD AIDS DAY as we once again hear from the woman who inspired a movement - Agnes Nyamayarwo of Uganda and members of the MPWN. It is an event that you don't want to miss.

Bono and Agnes at the Lied Center, 1 December 2002, Lincoln Nebraska, at the start of "The Heart of America" tour

Bono and Agnes, May 2004, at the rally which started
the ONE Campaign, Philadelphia PA

Bono's handwritten endorsement given to me by Bono with a big smile on his face in Sept 2009, Chicago Illinois, for our activities for Agnes Nyamayarwo and the MPWN

by Deborah Kreuser ♫ worldview_14@yahoo.com