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Malawi: Reactions to Madonna's adoption of Chifundo

Categories: Sub-Saharan Africa, Malawi, Human Rights, Law, Music, Youth

For some who never knew Malawi, they have gotten to hear about the country in Africa purely because of Madonna whose full name [1] is not known to many.

It appears that the generally many Malawians are happy that the Madonna is able to adopt needy children from Malawi in spite of the fears of what this trend may create.

When she first appeared in Malawi to adopt David Banda [2] in 2006, there were mixed reactions. When the debate over her adoption finally died down, rumors started appearing that the pop star was actually dating Malawi to pick another child: this time a girl Chifundo (Mercy) James.

Blogger Rex Chikoko [3] reported that however the journey seemed a bit tough this time as the High Court Judge Esme Chombo said that according to Malawi's intercountry adoption laws, Madonna could not take the child as she had not resided in Malawi for about 18 months. However, an appeal to Supreme Court [4] saw Chifundo get mercy on the basis that residence in modern day world can be anywhere and someone can have more than one residence.

Reactions have been many and many continue debating and discussing what will become of Malawi with such a Supreme Court ruling.

Meanwhile Chifundo has arrived in London. [5]

Madonna's new daughter has flown out of her native Malawi on a private jet headed for London, an airport employee and a person familiar with Madonna's adoption proceedings in this southern African country said Saturday.

The airport employee, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter, said 3-year-old Chifundo “Mercy” James left late Friday headed to London, with a stop in neighboring South Africa. The girl, the second child Madonna has adopted from Malawi, was reportedly accompanied on the flight by a nanny, a child nurse and a third aide.

A jounalist and regular blogger Kondwani Munthali while writing about the Madonna, was angered by an article [6] in TheĀ Gurdian by one Jacques Peretti , which mocks Malawi and another in the Mirror which claims Madonna bribed Malawians with US$19 million to get the child. Sick and very sick reports.

Mr. Peretti when he comes back to Malawi we will take him back to our schools of Journalism that he can learn to report “facts” and not his own creations as he has done. He claims there is a mass grave in Malawi which we bury three babies everyday, my foot.

Munthali says that he wrote his post merely to put the record straight about Madonna's latest adoption.

Given the context of the debate, another blogger, Ndagha [7] stated that he could not understand why Madonna was granted the second child.

Some Malawians have equate Madonna to ‘Ma Donor’ meaning she is a donor of funds to the Malawian people especially the lucky few [8] children are under her Malawi Raising Project.

It has to be pointed out that there are more reactions that are not documented in Malawi on Madonna's adoption of children.

While reactions are many, what remains in the mind of Malawians is whether Madonna or other celebrities will not get to Malawi to adopt more children based on the precedent set by the Supreme Court of Malawi ruling.