Brian Boyd, The Irish Times
BONO, AFTER a few impatient months spent recuperating from back surgery, has resumed tour duties - and is also back bending politicians' ears and arguing the case of Africa's poor and the continuing scourge of HIV and Aids on the continent.
In Russia this week for a U2 show, the now 50-year-old singer took the time to meet the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev. Bono wasn't talking rock riffs with the music-loving leader: he was making the case for Russia to write off the money owed to it by poverty-stricken African countries, and explaining how 40 US cents a day could eliminate the transfer of HIV from mother to child by 2015.
Bono's humanitarian and advocacy work on behalf of the African continent has seen him nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize and awarded a knighthood in the British honours list. "Believe me, I know how absurd it is to have a rock star talk about the World Health Organisation or debt relief or HIV/Aids in Africa," he has said of his time strolling the corridors of power in his leather jacket and sunglasses.