Madonna's complicated relationship with Malawi just got weirder this week when the president of the Southeast African nation publicly lashed out at the international pop star.
"Madonna is a famed international musician, but that does not impose an injunction of obligation on any government under whose territory Madonna finds herself, including Malawi, to give her state treatment," the office of President Joyce Banda said in a statement. "Kindness, as far as its ordinary meaning is concerned, is free and anonymous. If it can't be free and silent, it is not kindness; it is something else. Blackmail is the closest it becomes," the president's office said.
Ouch. That's a harsh implication. And obviously not the kind of criticism Madonna is willing to take from anyone, president or not. In a statement on her website, Madonna pointed to 10 specific schools that her charity, Raising Malawi, helped build or renovated. She also claimed that thanks to her efforts, "More than 4,800 children who were formerly learning outside, in unsafe buildings or not at all get to attended daily classes."
In addition to figures, Madge took to her Instagram to post some photographic evidence of her good intentions in the region.
Cheekily referencing President Banda's claim that she expected special treatment, Madonna posted a series of photos of herself in Malawi with captions like, "I don't see any red carpets here!" and, "This woman is dancing because her granddaughter is able to attend one of the schools we built."
Whether you think Madonna's efforts should be applauded or you find yourself wary of Western celebrities' charitable efforts in the Third World, you gotta love the picture she posted of her 12-year-old son Rocco "teaching break dance to orphans." Malawi Boogaloo!