One of the entertainer’s last stops in her weeklong sojourn was in centrally located village of Kazimbe, about 60 miles from the capital of Lilongwe, where she planted a tree to mark the opening of the new Katawa clinic, which is partly funded by her fellow Kabbalah enthusiasts.
The visit came a day after Madonna and her entourage, which included daughter Lourdes and adoptive son David Banda, turned up to inspect a new daycare center her charity, Raising Malawi Organization, is constructing to benefit impoverished children in the area.
Appearing before cheering locals in Mphandula, a village with a population of 2,500 approximately 30 miles west of Lilongwe, Madonna made her first public remarks since touching down in the African nation on Monday.
“Keep working hard. I hope you realize how much power you have to make a good future for yourselves,” Madonna said.
“It was a bush before and there was nothing. Now there are these beautiful buildings,” she continued.
The entertainer was given a half-hour tour by Alfred Chapomba, the director and founder of the Consol Homes orphans charity, the group that will run the facility, while a group of local women danced and sang songs welcoming her presence. She then addressed a throng in the center’s main hall.
“It is not the buildings that matter, but your kind heart for giving this land freely,” Madonna said. “I have heard people say please come back. Remember, this is a partnership, it’s not [for] me to do everything but we need to work together and you have to help yourselves.”
In honor of the pop star’s visit, local musicians played homemade instruments as she mingledand even dancedwith villagers and orphans.
Clapping her hands, she urged David to get into the groove with some moves of his own, which the youngster did after receiving some friendly encouragement from smiling bystanders.
The village’s chief, Kalolo, offered his people’s gratitude for the good works she and her charity had done for their rural community, which has neither electricity nor running water.
“We are now proud villagers who are seeing this type of development for the first time in our lives,” he said. “Thank you for everything.”
While her latest trip has been happy times for Madonna and familyhaving been greeted warmly everywhere they’ve gone so farit hasn’t been without incident, largely thanks to an ever-present pack of paparazzi and reporters that have been trailing her every move.
Her holiday has included stops at several United Nations-backed crop initiatives in the village of Mtanga and a return visit to the Home of Hopethe orphanage in the village of Mchinji where David once lived. (According to some reports, David also had a chance to meet with his biological father, Yohane Banda.)
While at the orphanage, a group of teens hurled stones at the shutterbugs. The press corps was also kept at bay by a coterie of Madonna’s bodyguards backed by local police, until the singer relented and allowed reporters and cameramen in for an impromptu photo-op.
The heavy-handed security has, unsurprisingly, prompted some criticism from local papers.
The influential Daily Times published an editorial supporting Madonna’s efforts to adopt David and raise HIV/AIDS awareness in the country. But the newspaper also urged her to be more open about her activities, especially in light of the backlash surrounding her previous trip, when she came under fire for allegedly using her star power to circumvent adoption laws.
“It is surprising that just like her first trip, Madonna’s second trip to Malawi is shrouded in secrecy,” the newspaper said. “This kind of behavior is what gives room to speculation and in the end, people are fed with wrong information which may lead to wrong conclusions and actions.”
Meanwhile, British tabloids continue to insist that Madonna has taken a shine to an orphan named Grace and may soon add the girl to her brood, despite an announcement last week from publicist Liz Rosenberg stating that the pop star was not planning to adopt a second child during her trip.
source : eonline.com