Madonna Accused of "Negative" Image Building
Malawi “fed up” with Madonna.
Malawi’s government has accused Madonna of not consulting over her plans to build 10 new schools in the poor southern African state and says the singer seems more interested in promoting her global image than helping with education there.
The pop star, who has adopted two children from Malawi, announced in January her Raising Malawi charity was teaming up with non-profit group buildOn to construct the schools, which would educate at least 1,000 children a year.
Malawi’s ministry of education spokeswoman Lindiwe Chide told Reuters the government was “fed up” with Madonna.
Chide says that when the singer last year scrapped a previously planned academy for girls in Malawi, alleging mismanagement and cost overruns, she did not inform Malawian authorities.
“Now she decides to announce that she plans to build 10 schools without getting authority from us again,” she said.
“We now feel like this is all about propping up her global image and not in our interest,” she added.
Madonna could not immediately be reached for comment.
Madonna’s earlier plan to build a state-of-the-art girls school for about 400 student just outside the Malawi capital Lilongwe collapsed last year, and the board of her Raising Malawi charity was fired.
The New York Times said at the time that $US3.8 million had been spent on the school with little to show for it.
The singer has so far given $US11 million to the organisation which she co-founded in 2006.
Chide added: “She has no mandate to decide where she wants to build a school because she doesn’t know our needs and where we want new schools … she first needed to consult us, get permission from us before doing anything”.
Malawi has more than half a million children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic and is ranked by the United Nations as one of the world’s 20 least developed countries.
Reporting By Mabvuto Banda – Reuters