Madonna Slammed by Malawi President Joyce Banda Following Visit
Malawi is Madonna's cause celebre. The singer has done a lot for the country, adopting two children from the region and building schools there. At least that's the media spin, since the country's president Joyce Banda has slammed the Material Girl after her visit to the impoverished nation and it seems to be a personal beef.
Madge embarked on a week-long humanitarian trip, which Banda criticized. Of her Madgesty's actions, Banda told a reporter, "She just came unannounced and proceeded to villages and made poor people dance for her. And immigration officials opened the VIP lounge for her just because previously she enjoyed the VIP status." That status was revoked by Banda when Madge left the country and she was thus treated like a regular ol' coach passenger and had to wait in line for a security check.
Madge had sent the prez a handwritten note on branded stationary, referring to her as "Joyce," which is incredibly informal. The letter was filled with spelling errors. People have taken issue with the correspondence, but there's a suggestion that she and Banda have a pre-existing relationship. In 2012, Madge expressed happiness over Banda's ascendancy to the role of president, calling her "amazing."
Madge supposedly interviewed Banda for her documentary 'I Am Because We Are,' which focused on Malawians that lost people to HIV and AIDS.
Also at the heart of the matter? Banda is infuriated over the fact that despite Madonna spending $11 million of her personal income on projects in the country since 2006, she scrapped her plan to build an all-girls school in favor of building 10 community schools.
So wait, she's mad that Madonna built 10 schools as opposed to one?
Banda did express his disappointment about said fact in 2012. "I have a problem with a lot of things around the adoption of the children and the changing of the mind and then coming back to build community schools," Banda said. "It's something [Madonna] offered to do, and she has changed her mind—that's fine."
But that's not all. Education Minister Eunice Kazembe claims that Madge is spinning the scope of her efforts. She basically said Madonna built classrooms, not whole schools, stating, "They have said they have built 10 schools in Malawi, and on our side, what we know is that she has built classrooms. She has built classrooms at existing schools...really it's a difference in terminology."
There are rumblings that Banda's disdain for Madge has to do with the fact that the singer fired Banda's sister from her role as the CEO of her nonprofit.
From the sounds of it, there is history there, so Madge's referring to Banda by her first name isn't as out of line as it seems. Madonna is trying to do good but Banda is having none of it.
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