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Madonna adoption: civil or evil society?


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By Perseverence Ganga

I HAVE read with sadness the unfortunate controversy that has rocked Madonna's recent adoption or intention to adopt a Malawian's orphan, David Banda.

What brings sadness to me is the way in which the so called Malawi
civil society has hijacked the whole adoption story and turned it into a media frenzy by claiming to be championing what they have chose to refer to as the rights of that child.

Surprisingly, these civil societies (not all Malawi civil societies) have managed to get the support of some of the hypocritical British tabloids who have hacked in a lot of pounds by selling this sad story. British tabloids and Malawi civil society: aren't they just
strange bedmates?

Despite having seen the world for only 12 months, David been exposed to all kinds of poverty, diseases and marginalisation which is an everyday reality of
African life. To live a better life is a dream not only of teenagers but even the beneficiaries of Help Age.

Madonna has offered David a dream that he might not even afford to live in three lifetimes. Look here, we are not talking of a human trafficker in Cameroon going to buy a child worker in Togo, but we are talking about Madonna a world icon who is always in the media spotlight and would do anything to prevent having her name being published for not being able to be a good mother to the poor African child.

Who is raising their voice for the child's rights? A hypocritical group of people calling themselves Malawian civil society, the same people who could
not mobilise themselves to condone the neighbouring Zimbabwe president
Mugabe's controversial visit to Malawi just a few months ago. They failed to mobilise against Mugabe,
who has caused agony and violated human rights and children's rights; the children and adults who include more than 3 million Zimbabweans of Malawian origin, the majority of which were farm workers who displaced during the farm invasions.

If these hideous NGOs were true champions of children's rights, why is it that, cases of child abuse skyrocket on almost everyday basis in Malawi as well as other African countries? If they are voices of the silent, then why make noise for only one lucky child when they seem voiceless on all the other million plus children suffering?

To imagine that such under-funded NGOs have the audacity to squeeze their meagre funds on the vague pretext that they are championing the rights of a child whose father, relatives and chief have given a greenlight for adoption, is tantamount to creating an overly ambitious perimeter of jurisdiction.

They enjoy it when the game benefits them. This is the reason why some of these NGOs are underfunded because they lack a clear mission statement.

Surely Madonna might be getting some Hollywood marks but I think the overall winner is David. Give the child a break and let Madonna adopt him.

Perseverence Ganga is a student at the University of Reading and has more than 3 years experience of working with the Orphaned and Vulnerable Children in Africa. He can be contacted at


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