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Madonna News - October 2006

Ricky Martin: Madonna an Exemplary Mom

Ricky Martin on Wednesday defended Madonna’s adoption of a 1-year-old Malawian boy, calling her an “exemplary” mother, and said he, too, would like to adopt. “I know Madonna as a mother, and she’s exemplary,” the Puerto Rican star told The Associated Press in a phone interview from Miami.
“The love she gives her kids is a dream, and I know that her heart is big enough to adopt not just one child but to adopt 20.”
Martin, who in recent years has defended the rights of children through his foundation and as an ambassador for UNICEF, said he was not aware of the challenges to the adoption by human rights groups that allege the pop diva flouted the African country’s adoption laws.
Madonna, in an interview aired Wednesday on Oprah, blamed the media for the controversy the adoption has sparked.
“I feel the media is doing a great disservice to all the orphans of Africa, period, not just the orphans of Malawi,” she said.
Madonna and her husband, director Guy Ritchie, were awarded temporary custody of the boy, David Banda, earlier this month.
Martin, when asked if he would like to adopt a child someday, said, “Totally. I don’t know when, but right now I am sponsoring three children in India and we have a very beautiful connection.”
source : ap

Madonna: ‘I did nothing wrong’

Madonna told Oprah Winfrey yesterday she was surprised by the firestorm surrounding her efforts to adopt a 13-month-old boy from the African country of Malawi — and she blamed the media for it.
Madonna taped the interview via satellite from London, for airing today. It was the first time she’d spoken publicly in depth about the adoption.
Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper quoted audience members as saying the Material Girl told Winfrey: “I did nothing wrong.”
According to a member of the Oprah audience, Madonna said she was startled by press reports about the toddler’s father, Yohane Banda, who was quoted last week as saying he didn’t realize he was signing away custody of his son, David, “for good.”
“She said she met with the father, she looked him in the eye,” audience member Sheryl Lewis recounted.
Madonna, she added, said she acted according to the law and had both “oral and written approval … and now the press have gotten to him,” Lewis said.
In an interview posted yesterday on Time magazine’s website, Banda said he will not contest the adoption.
“I don’t want my child, who is already gone, to come back,” he said. “I will be killing his future if I accept that.”
Madonna told the Oprah audience that she and her husband, Guy Ritchie, had been thinking about adoption for more than two years, said Lewis, of Deerfield, Ill.
Another Oprah audience member, Amanda Bannon of Crawfordsville, Ind., told ABC News that “the biggest thing was that Madonna wants to get the point across that she doesn’t want this to be a discouragement to other families to not adopt.”
Many in the audience appeared to support the star.
“Madonna is an intelligent woman and she made a lot of sense. I am not always the greatest fan of her, but it was a good thing that she did,” Sue Waldman told the Daily Mail.
Madonna, 48, travelled to Malawi on Oct. 4 with Ritchie. They spent eight days visiting orphanages she is funding through her charity.
David was taken to London last week after Malawi’s High Court granted Madonna and Ritchie an interim adoption order.
source : ap

Party Like Madonna – Madonna’s playlist

from InStyle : As Her Madgesty has said, “Music makes the people come together.” The pop icon and her producer, Stuart Price, compiled their ultimate party playlist for us. Our only quibble? Modesty kept Madonna from adding any of her own songs to the mix, and nothing gets a party started like a little “Madgic.”

Madonna’s Playlist
1. West End Girls by Pet Shop Boys
2. Supernature by Cerrone
3. Dance by ESG
4. All This Love That I’m Giving by Gwen McRae
5. Don’t Stop The Music by Yarborough & Peoples
6. Give Me The Night by George Benson
7. Move On Up by Destination
8. The Smurf by Tyrone Brunson
9. Do What You Wanna Do by T-Connection
10. Evolution by Giorgio Moroder

Interview: The Father of Madonna’s Baby Will Not Contest The Adoption

The biological father of 13-month-old Malawian boy David says he did not know that American pop star Madonna would be taking his son “for good” when she came to adopt him earlier this month (a claim government officials dispute). But Yohane Banda tells TIME that his son is now better off and he would be “killing” David’s future to insist his son returns.
Banda, 32, lives in a small mud hut in the village of Lipunga, which sits close to the Zambian border about 112 miles west of Malawi’s capital Lilongwe. Poor and uneducated, Banda tends a patch of maize and a vegetable garden and every now and again gets a job reworking scrap metal. When his wife Malita Lungu, a Zambian who gave birth to David across the border in her native country, died just a week after David was born, Banda struggled to raise his son with the help of relatives and friends. But a month later he sent David to the orphanage where Madonna would later find him. TIME reporter Peter Kumwenda interviewed Banda in his modest home this week

TIME: Your son David is now in the UK where he has joined his new parents. After all that has happened how do you feel?
Banda: I am OK.

It is been suggested by some sections of the media that you are unhappy about how things went, specifically that you did not understand that adoption means your son now becomes somebody’s else’s child, isn’t that right?

It is true that I was not told properly that my child will be taken for good. You know, I am not educated so the way I was told, I thought it would be the same as keeping him at the orphanage, the only difference being that he will be kept by a rich, respectable lady and in America which is far away. I never understood it as my child being taken for good.

Have you now been told adoption means David is now Madonna’s child not yours’ anymore?

Yes, some people are saying that.

But you have not been told officially by the orphanage or by government officials?

No, I have not been told.

So do you believe that your child has been taken away from you for good, to become Madonna’s child, or do you still think he will come back to you after some time?

What I know and I what I was told is that good Samaritans want to help raise my son by sending him to school and looking after him. When he finishes school he will come back home to stay with us.

If you find that it is true, your son is now another family’s child and you may never see him again, what will you do?

Nothing. What can I do?

You won’t try and demand your child back?

No no no.

Some human rights activists have taken up the case in court. They say because you did not understand what adoption means, your son’s adoption must be nullified. Do you agree with them?



I don’t want my child, who is already gone to come back. I will be killing his future if I accept that.

So you won’t go to court to strengthen their case?


How about other members of your family uncles, brother and so on. Will any them be going to court together with human rights groups to try and stop the adoption?

No, no one will do that.

Do you think your wife would have tried to stop the adoption from going ahead?

No, I don’t think so.

Tell me what exactly she would have done about all this?

Well, I don’t know. I think she would have wanted our child to go so he can be supported with education so that in future our child can support us.

Finally, I want to ask you about Madonna. You saw Madonna, what do you think about her?

Well, I am just grateful to her for helping my child.

source : time magazine

Gossip : Madge baby’s fairy godfather

Madonna is to ask gay actor pal Rupert Everett to be her African baby’s godfather, The Sun can reveal.
The 48-year-old has told friends she wants him to play a big part in little David Banda’s life.
Madonna picked Rupert, 47, because of his experience of working in Africa with Aids victims. The move is a sign that Madonna and hubby Guy Ritchie are confident the adoption will be approved.
A close source said: “Madonna and Rupert have been pals for years and he is one of her closest friends. But more than that her trip to Africa was partly inspired by Rupert’s work out there.
“She knows he spends a lot of time in the country through his work with Aids charities and that he knows the country well. She feels he knows the culture well and would be a great help to David as he grows up.”?
Madonna and Everett have been pals since the 1980s and starred in a film together, The Next Best Thing. The adoption has been surrounded by controversy and yesterday David’s father Yohane, 31, claimed he has not given approval for a permanent adoption.
He said he hoped David would return to him in Malawi after finishing schooling. African officials yesterday insisted the adoption HAD been handled correctly.
source :

Madonna to talk about adoption on Oprah Winfrey’s show

Madonna will speak to talk show host Oprah Winfrey about her decision to adopt a 13-month-old Malawian boy – the first television interview for the pop star since her adoption became an international controversy.
The interview is scheduled to tape Tuesday and air Wednesday, a spokeswoman for Harpo Productions Inc. said Monday.
Madonna traveled to the African country of Malawi on Oct. 4 with her husband, Guy Ritchie. Together, they spent eight days visiting orphanages she is funding through her charity.
The boy, named David Banda, was taken to London last week after Malawi’s High Court granted Madonna and her husband an interim adoption order.
The 48-year-old singer has said she acted according to the law, but the toddler’s father said Sunday he did not realize he was signing away custody of the boy “for good.”
Madonna, who rose to pop culture icon status in the 1980s, has two children – daughter Lourdes, 9, and son Rocco, 6.
source : ap

Madonna Defiant by Liz Smith

Hard for me to understand exactly what it is Madonna has done person ally to all who are so violently critical of her recent plunge into Third World child-caring, money-giving and adoption. The press continues to turn her into a monster.

Here’s my take. Madonna is sincere in her efforts, but she just doesn’t give a damn about how it all looks. Media relations are not her priority, and listening to astute p.r. advisers is not her long suit. She didn’t care that people would say she was up to some contrived, copycat-Angelina Jolie/Brad Pitt kind of thing. Given her disdain for newspapers, she might not even be aware of how her actions are often perceived. She doesn’t do the things she does for “publicity” – that all just happens whenever she makes a move.

Madonna has a lot of power. And we have said over and over in this space that the ill-wishers who constantly pronounce her as “all washed up” are just wrong. Her last tour broke worldwide records and put her into a new cash category of top-grossing acts. This makes her more of a formidable target for those who want to tear down all success stories. (Somebody said to me, after the 1990 “Blonde Ambition” tour, “She won’t be doing this in 10 years.” Well, it’s 2006, and she’s still going strong.)

Now, personally, I think Madonna would have been better off attempting to adopt a parentless child, not a 1-year-old with a living (and probably soon to be demanding) father. And she’d have been far better off never bringing up the word “kabbalah” in connection with any of her announced good works for children left without families because of AIDS. I’m not much for charity with any proselytizing religion mixed in on top of it.

A better p.r. question for a positive outcome regarding giving away money and adopting children in the Third World might be to ask: Where did Angelina Jolie go right, and where did Madonna go wrong? I think both of these phenomenal women are warm-hearted and eager to do good deeds in a naughty world. Perhaps the answer is to take a leaf from the book of the amazing Bono before one jets off to Malawi or wherever. He knows how to do good deeds, make friends and influence people! The Bible says never let your right hand know what your left hand is doing, so perhaps it doesn’t really matter so long as these big stars have sincere intentions. How much money are you giving away to help children?

P.S. And lest we forget, the “trend” for adopting Third World babies seems to have begun with the remarkable Mia Farrow, who took nine or 10 children, some with disabilities. No big fuss was made over Mia’s adoption techniques. But then again, Mia is . . . small bosomed. She has never worn a vial of blood around her neck, broken Jennifer Aniston’s heart, written a sex book, hung herself on a cross, or, well – you get the picture. Mia had plenty of controversy in her time, but her soft, wistful manner always made it seem the scandal was being thrust upon her.

source : nypost

Madonna’s haven of hope

At first glance, Malawi’s Home of Hope is a rag-tag collection of ramshackle, dilapidated buildings in a hot, dusty field that would most likely give rise to despair. To the keener eye, however, the orphanage from which Madonna adopted 13-month-old David Banda is a lively hive of purposeful activity.

Students and teachers discuss lessons as they walk in the campus at Mchinji, in the foothills of the green mountains that separate Malawi from Zambia. A dozen youngsters are at work in a mill, grinding maize grown in nearby fields. Others carry freshly harvested tomatoes, onions and peanuts. Teenagers blow off steam after exams by playing spirited games of football and basketball in their bare feet and with makeshift balls. A dozen girls, in clothes frayed but clean, sit chatting on a log in the shade.

Outwardly shabby, perhaps, but clearly a place rich with inspiration, Home of Hope appears to be living up to its name as a haven for several hundred of Malawi’s one million children orphaned by Aids or malaria.

The orphanage is the work of 77-year-old Presbyterian minister Thomson Chipeta. In 1998 Chipeta started the facility because he had taken in so many children who had lost their parents. The orphan centre has grown in response to Malawi’s increasing need and also as a result of Chipeta’s vision and success in raising funds from Europe, Canada, South Africa and Malawi.

Chipeta is like the school he created, rough-hewn and impressive. His handshake is firm, his gaze is clear. ‘We have 500 young people here, ranging in age from one to 18. We have a primary school and a full secondary school. Some of our graduates go on to technical training colleges. Education is the way these youngsters can make something of their lives.’

But his face clouds over at the mention of Madonna’s recent visit. ‘The complaints, the court case, the trouble, the press,’ says Chipeta, furrows of worry suddenly creasing his brow. He is at pains to insist that the adoption has been done correctly, but is clearly concerned about the court case and the possibility that the government would think that Home of Hope has done anything wrong.

‘It has tainted everything. We have worked to do everything properly, but we cannot accept visitors freely now. We cannot afford to make matters worse.’ Clearly the controversy and glare of publicity has been an ordeal for Chipeta.

Despite the impending court battle, most Malawians say they are pleased by Madonna’s adoption and by the interest generated in helping the country deal with its burden of vulnerable children. ‘Home of Hope is a wonderful school, a very good place,’ said schoolteacher Sapensia Banda, who cycled 10 miles to invigilate at exams. ‘But the baby who was adopted, he will have even better opportunities. Let’s hope he will come back and help us all.’ Businessman Dik Mlenga agrees: ‘I was raised by my cousin, so I know how tough it can be. She has done a good thing for that boy.’

There is an air of expectancy in Malawi. Clouds are gathering and the annual rains are about to begin. Fields are ploughed and ready for the new maize crop. Malawians are hoping for good rains and good harvests. Likewise, they are hoping that the world’s unexpected attention will bring positive results. Love her or loathe her, Madonna’s foray has stimulated a lively international debate about how best to deal with the continent’s vulnerable children, more than 48 million, according to UN estimates.

Aids, malaria and other diseases create orphans and also prey on the small children. Malawi, one of Africa’s poorest countries is also one of the most densely populated. For more than 20 years, the country has had a problem of chronic malnutrition among an estimated 20 per cent of its children.

More significant for Malawi than Madonna’s headline-grabbing adoption is her pledge to establish an orphan care centre. About 20 miles down the road from Home of Hope, in Namitete, Madonna’s new organisation, Raising Malawi, is planning to build a centre that will assist thousands of parentless children. Working with Consol Homes, a community-based Malawian organisation, Madonna’s group plans to build a kitchen and feeding centre, a pre-school unit, a centre for older orphans, a separate centre for widows and grandmothers, play areas and a teaching garden. Phase two will see the establishment of a primary school.

The new centre will be surrounded by 26 villages with a population of 30,000 people, of whom 16,000 are children. It is estimated that the centre will assist more than 4,000 orphans.

‘We like to operate with the surrounding communities, to keep the children in their extended families,’ says Alfred Chapomba, who has won a reputation as one of Malawi’s most effective child care activists as director of Consol Homes. ‘This is a problem of critical, national importance,’ he says. ‘We must all work together: government, local communities and the international donors, all of us.’

Close to Namitete, on the tarred road to Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, stands a small naked boy with a swollen belly. He is dusty and glares at cars and trucks with fierce, disturbed eyes. He hops out of the way of hooting vehicles. Other children by the road shout at him. Could he be one of Malawi’s orphans, hungry and alienated and in need of assistance?

‘Home of Hope and Consol Homes are two outstanding institutions, but they are the exceptions. There are many more groups that are struggling to get enough food for children and are poorly equipped or cannot provide education. Many children are dying of hunger and disease,’ said Rob Jamieson, editor of Lilongwe’s Chronicle newspaper. ‘Madonna has focused international attention on our problem. We look forward to her sustained interest in our children. If she keeps at it down the years, I think it will really be something.

‘I don’t know why she picked Malawi, but thank God she did.’

source : the observer