Rusty Radiator’s ‘Who Wants To Be A Volunteer’ Promo Video



Let’s be honest, there are a fair number of “we’ve come to save Africa” volunteers; tourists coming to “make a difference” and “learn from” Africa who come to this continent with an “us and them” attitude and “superiority complex”. But all those inverted commas signify harming stereotypes from both “them and us”. It’s a topic difficult to discuss let alone represent without being offensive and prejudiced. But South African director Matt Nefdt’s ‘Who Wants To Be A Volunteer’ promo video for the Rusty Radiator Awards succeeds with a satirical approach. The video shows an over enthusiastic (and over stereotyped) European competing to become a volunteer in (over stereotyped) Africa, winning the grand prize after deciding that Africa has one country.


The Rusty Radiator Awards is an anti-stereotypes offshoot of the Golden Radiator Awards by SAIH (The Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund) that focuses on acknowledging creative fundraising campaigns. SAIH acknowledges they’re “messing with you” and are known for resorting to satire to prove their point, as seen in their Radi-Aid video from 2012. They explain their perspective:


“If we say Africa, what do you think about? Hunger, poverty, crime or AIDS? For decades now, we’ve seen the same stereotypical images of Africa in both the media and in fundraising campaigns. It reinforces the image of Africans as an “exotic other”. We believe that these images create apathy, rather than action. We need to educate ourselves on how stereotypes and simple solutions to complex problems are more damaging, than helping. SAIH wishes to create a bigger understanding for how a certain kind of communication can be harmful.”


The Rusty Radiator nominations are “heart-wrenching”, with two from the USA, one from Canada and one from South Africa. On the other side of the spectrum, however, the Golden Radiator Award nominees are moving, effective and counter-stereotypical.


“Hunger and poverty is ugly, and it calls for action. However, we need to create engagement built on knowledge, not stereotypes. For instance, a survey published by the British development organization Oxfam shows that three out of four people had become apathetic towards images showing hunger, drought and disease. The stereotypical images from fundraising ads and the nominees for the Rusty category are constantly feeding us to believe that we – the “Westerners” – are the ones who can save the world.” (


Matt Nefdt’s production company NEFDT Films also made last year’s Rusty Awards campaign video ‘Let’s Save Africa! – Gone Wrong’ which was a winner in TED’s 2013 ‘Top 10 Ads Worth Spreading’ challenge. The satirical style and tagline “Donate Your Stereotypes” that is accompanied by an end-worthy dance scene can be seen in both promo adverts.


Vote for the 2014 Rusty and Golden Radiator Awards at and stay connected via SAIH’s Facebook and Twitter.




Director: Matt Nefdt
Producer: Devin Carter
Executive Producers: Kristoffer Kinge, Sindre Edland-Gryt, Kristin Marie Skaar
Production Manager: Rose Lovell
Executive Producer: Michael Nefdt
Production Design: Clint McLean
DOP: Devin Carter
Gaffer: Jonathan Nivison
Sound: Ryan Hall
Makeup and Hair: Pam McNeill
Key Grip: Dylan Marriot
Production Assistant : Calyn Hilder



Game Show Host: Breezy V
Contestant: Katy Moore
Guest Appearance: Michael Mbhele
Dancers from Flatfoot Dance Company



Offline: Devin Carter
Online: Matt Nefdt
Music Composition: Kurt Peinke

Production Companies: NEFDT Films and iKind Media






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