“Material girl” Madonna might not be travelling to Malawi anytime soon after a huge row erupted between her and Joyce Banda, first female President of Malawi. The American pop star has been travelling back to the east African nation for the past seven years after she adopted two babies from the Country and began a charity there known as Raising Malawi. A statement on Madona’s website today reads “”I was very happy to visit with the children of Malawi earlier this month and to see with my own eyes the ten new primary schools in Kasungu province that Raising Malawi and buildOn completed this past year. These schools are now educating more than 4,800 children with girls…”
The statement acknowledged that before her intervention, the children either had no classrooms to study or did so under trees. In what must now be seen as an equally strongly worded reaction to a statement from President Banda’s office yesterday, Madonna added
“I’m saddened that Malawi’s President Joyce Banda has chosen to release lies about what we’ve accomplished, my intentions, how I personally conducted myself while visiting Malawi and other untruths. I have no intentions of being distracted by these ridiculous allegations”.
Yesterday’s statement from the office of President Banda was equally critical of Madonna accusing the star of “bullying state officials”. The statement continued “ being a musician who desperately thinks she must generate recogniztion by bullying state officials instead of playing decent music on stage.” This is what probably provoked Madonna to label President Banda a liar.
Aides of the president have refuted claims Madonna contructed ten schools in Malawi but acknoledged she did build some classrooms in the impoverished African country.
Madona’s manager Trevor Neilson accused President Banda of treating Madonna badly because she fired her sister sister Anjimille Oponyo in 2011 from running her charity Raising Malawi. Madona accused the president’s sister of embezzlement, a charge she refuted. Mr Neilson refuted allegations Madonna expressedly asked to be given VIP treatment in Malawi.
Unlike in the past, Madonna and her entourage were security checked at the airport and they did not get the usual Limousine provided to ferry them from her private job to Malawi. This appears to have angered Madona.
Should foreigners be adopting “poor” African children ?
The underlying reasons for the clash of these two women president Banda (one of only two African female presidents) and Madona (the biggest female pop star on earth) appears to be the morality of a rich American celebrity adopting a poor African child to raise in her country. Is is “charitable” or “ethical” for rich celebrities to adope a child whose biological father might be alive? of Mercy, the second child Madona adopted from an orphanage. No DNA was ever ordered when a certain James Kambewa claimed he was the father of Mercy, the second baby Madonna adopted? A 2009 report by BBC journalist Raphael Tenthani said the adoption of the two children David and Mercy was largely welcomed in Malawi.
The two children are now living a life of luxury beyond their wildest dream which they will never get had they remained in Malawi but should poor countries keep allowing mostly rich white people to adopt their orphaned children? Russia recently banned Americans from adopting children there after a Russian child adopted by American parents died under suspiccius circumstances. This means this does not only happen in Africa. Is it time for African countries to place a similar ban?
Building bridges between two powerful women
Madona has said she will keep supporting orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi but with “an alpha woman” like Joyce banda in power in Malawi, it will be hard to bridge the gulf between them. Madonna has also promised to “support” the Malawi children but is not expected to be travelling there anytime soon if her row with the President Banda is not resolved.
Thousands of malawian children are benefitting from Madona’s largess. She might not be planning to adopt more children from Malawi but will always bear a duty of gratitude to the East African nation. News organizations do not help matters by examining every single move Madonna makes, a point her manager Trevor Neilson pointed out following the latest crisis when he said the media was “blowing the crisis out of proportion”. Whatever happens in the end, the moral delimma of whether rich foreigners should continue adopting poor children from developing countries will always remain problematic