You have to hand it to Brad and Angelina (I refuse to dub them Brangelina, which sounds like a breakfast cereal). By ensconcing themselves in Namibia, with a friendly government doing everything to protect their privacy, they have devised the most effective solution to harassment by paparazzi. Up there on her cloud, Princess Diana must be so jealous.
Namibia hasn’t been in the news much, other than as a punchline to Commonwealth Games jokes. But it’s been placed firmly on the media map as the birthplace of Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, the most eagerly awaited, badly named celebrity baby yet.
The government’s complicity in arresting photographers has meant that instead of intrusive long-lens shots, the celebrity press has been forced to concoct bizarre stories out of sheer desperation. Such as the one about the local tribal chief who had been invited to name the child. Not true, although poor Shiloh will no doubt grow up wishing he had.
The Namibian solution is great for all of us who’ve had to endure less irritating coverage because of the lack of images. But it’s also been a boon for the Namibians, who reportedly wanted to make the day of the child’s birth a holiday, an honour usually reserved for national heroes.
That seems appropriate. After all, with the influx of gutter journalists, this child has done more than anyone else for the basket-case Namibian economy.
In fact, becoming the world’s celebrity birthing clinic could be a fantastic new industry for Namibia. If it’s true that the couple has sold exclusive pictures for $7 million (to be donated to UNICEF), baby photos could well replace diamonds as the country’s biggest export.
Better still, the whole country could be set up as a gated community for the rich and famous, allowing them to have their weddings, botox injections and embarrassing stints in rehab away from our prying eyes.
Cameras would be a prohibited import and gossip magazines everywhere would go broke for lack of photos to illustrate their made-up stories. What a wonderful gift from Namibia to us all.
That said, though, let’s hope Paris Hilton doesn’t move to Namibia. The world has to get its cheap entertainment from somewhere.
PHOTO: Big birther … Angelina Jolie with NBC’s Ann Curry, who was in Nambia to interview the star. Photo: AP/NBC/Christian Martin.