Kumi Naidoo Secretary General of Amnesty International speaks at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit during the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York, U.S., September 24, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

World is suffering from ‘Affluenza’ says Kumi Naidoo

CAPE TOWN- As the world continues to fight the outbreak of Covid-19 and many of us long for the days of ‘normality’, a South African-born human rights activist says that the world needs to build back better than what it was before.

In an interview with the BBC, former secretary-general of Amnesty International Kumi Naidoo speaks about how the Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted a pathological illness where people constantly derive happiness from excessive materialism.

Naidoo mentions that “affluenza” can lead people to believe that a meaningful and happy life comes primarily from more material acquisitions.

Making reference to an Albert Einstein quote “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” Naidoo said that as the world recovers from Covid-19 we can’t just build back, we need to build back better.

“We need to build back in a way that we address inequality, we address overconsumption and we address the climate crisis,” he said.

The world post Covid-19 needs to look different says Naidoo, humanity needs to come together to make sure the world doesn’t go back to ‘normal’.

“If going back to normal means disrespecting nurses, I don’t want to go back. If going back to normal means disrespecting people in our stores, I don’t want to go back. Let’s go back to a society where we respect everybody,” said Naidoo.

The interview with Kumi Naidoo “Is the world suffering from ‘Affluenza’?” was first published on BBC Sounds. www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p08cdrds

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