ALS Ice Bucket Challenge arrives in North Korea
PYONGYANG, North Korea — It’s pretty hard to find a novel way to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by now, but two-time Grammy-winning rapper Pras Michel, a founding member of the Fugees, has done it — getting his dousing in the center of North Korea’s capital on Sunday.
Pras had two buckets of ice water dumped on his head along Pyongyang’s Taedong River, much to the surprise and bewilderment — and laughter — of North Koreans out for a stroll or some fishing on their day off.
The American rapper and documentary filmmaker said he wanted to join in the immensely popular charity challenge and thought Pyongyang — where the ice bucket craze is unknown — would be the perfect place to do it.
“I thought I’d put a little twist to it,” he told The Associated Press. “When we go to places, my crew, we stick out. You can tell instantly these guys aren’t from this neck of the woods. But the people have been good to us.”
He said he passed on the challenge to four people, including former bandmate Lauryn Hill and Britain’s Prince Harry.
More than 3 million people around the world have joined in the challenge, which has raised more than $100 million for the ALS Association. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive illness that hits the nerves and the brain and can lead to paralysis and death. There is no cure, though a treatment now available can extend the life expectancy for its sufferers.
Pras, in North Korea to watch a pro wrestling exhibition and “explore,” said he is currently working on several projects, including “Sweet Mickey for Prezidan,” a documentary about Haiti’s presidential election that is due out by the end of the year.