Dear Madonna, Go F**k Yourself. Sincerely, the Country of Malawi

Most have never heard of Malawi, a small, impoverished nation in southeast Africa.

But not only has Madonna adopted two children from the country, she’s also spent millions building schools in the region.  So why is this country saying, ‘no thanks‘?  Here’s an official statement from the Malawian government following Madonna’s recent visit to the country.

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Claims and misgivings have been expressed by Pop Star, Madonna and her agents, against the Malawi Government and its leadership for not giving her the attention and courtesy that she thinks she merits and deserves during her recent trip to Malawi.

According to the claims, Madonna feels that the Malawi Government and its leadership should have abandoned everything and attended to her because she believes she is a music star turned benefactor who is doing Malawi good.

Besides, in the feeling of Madonna, the Malawi Government and its leadership should have rolled out a red carpet and blast the 21-gun salute in her honour because she believes that as a musician, the whiff of whose repute flies across international boundaries, she automatically is candidate for VVIP treatment.

For not receiving the attention and the graces that she believes she deserved, Madonna believes someone, not lesser in disposition than the President’s sister, Mrs. Anjimile Mtila-Oponyo, has been pulling the strings against her following their earlier fallout bordering on a labour dispute.

State House has noted these claims and misgivings.  State House has followed the debate incidental to these claims with keen interest, and would wish to respond as follows to put the record straight:

1. Neither the President nor any official in her government denied Madonna any attention or courtesy during her recent visit to Malawi because as far as the administration is concerned there is no defined attention and courtesy that must be followed in respect of her.

2.  In any case, even if the defined parameters of attention and courtesy existed in respect of Madonna, the liberties of discretion to give or not to give that attention or courtesy would ordinarily and naturally remain the preserve of the host.

Attention or courtesy is never demanded.

3. Granted, Madonna has adopted two children from Malawi. According to the record, this gesture was humanitarian and of her accord.  It, therefore, comes across as strange and depressing that for a humanitarian act, prompted only by her, Madonna wants Malawi to be forever chained to the obligation of gratitude.

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.

4.  Granted, 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.  As stated earlier in this statement, such treatment, even if she deserved it, is discretionary not obligatory.

5.  It should be put on record that Madonna did not come to Malawi at the invitation of the President nor her government.

In other words, she was neither the guest of the President nor of her government.

6.  For all that is known, she came to Malawi like any other visitor that feels like coming to Malawi.  Such visitors don’t have to meet with the President and are never amenable to state attention or graces.

7.  If the argument is that because she is an internationally renowned star, and, therefore, Madonna believes she deserved to be treated differently from other visiting foreigners, it is worth making her aware that Malawi has hosted many international stars, including Chuck Norris, Bono, David James, Rio Ferdinand and Gary Neville who have never demanded state attention or decorum despite their equally dazzling stature.

8.  Among the many things that Madonna needs to learn as a matter of urgency is the decency of telling the truth.

For her to tell the whole world that she is building schools in Malawi when she has actually only contributed to the construction of classrooms is not compatible with manners of someone who thinks she deserves to be revered with state grandeur. The difference between a school and a class room should be the most obvious thing for a person demanding state courtesy to decipher.

9. For her to accuse Mrs. Oponyo for indiscretions that have clearly arisen from her personal frustrations that her ego has not been massaged by the state is uncouth.

It speaks volumes of a musician who desperately thinks she must generate recognition by bullying state officials instead of playing decent music on the stage.

10. For all that is known, Mrs. Oponyo has never been responsible for arranging state meetings with foreigners who are looking for those meetings.  If Madonna was indeed a VVIP and a regular guest of State Governments as she wants to be seen and treated, she would have been familiar with procedures that have to be followed to get such meetings.  They don’t happen by simply sneaking into a country whose President and Government you scarcely desire to meet.

11. Even if Madonna followed the procedures to have her meetings with the President or government officials, the administration reserved all its rights to grant the meetings or not.


It must be noted that the President, Her Excellency Dr. Joyce Banda and her Government are ready to welcome any philanthropist seeking to assist in improving the welfare of the people of Malawi knowing that Her Excellency, herself, is a known philanthropist.  However, acts of kindness must always remain as such; they must not smack of blackmail.

 In addition, let philanthropists not hold to ransom the President and any official of her Government because they showed some kindness to any Malawian.
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Issued by

Tusekele Mwanyongo


Image: UK Department for International Development.  Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0 Generic.

21 Responses

  1. Ed


    Love to hear her side of the story.

    Madonna has, over the years done more good- often anonymously- them most of us could ever do. Publicizing a chartible action- calling attention to a dire problem is usually considered a good thing for the people- kids- who need help.

    The fact that the government didn’t respond to her need for recognition is quite possibly based on ther resentment at their neglect for their own children.

    But would love to know the real story… Sad that children’s welfare is being compromised by jealous and a short sighted media and government

    When will they ever learn…?

    • Visitor

      “Calling attention to a dire problem”

      is a good thing

      “Publicizing a chartible action”

      That is a good thing?

      In Madonna’s case one must wonder is the publicity for her or for the children of Malawi.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      Thanks for pointing that out, though that report almost adds more complexity to the story in my mind. The BBC story (link) basically states that Joyce Banda did not authorize and was not aware of the official Malawian statement, though she also – curiously – declined to apologize for it.

      Furthermore, the tone of the piece suggests it was ‘shaped’ by Banda and other officials, to deliver the softer version of events while still holding onto many of the points delivered in the nasty government missive.

      Tricky places, these third world African nations. Be skeptical, my friend.

      • Candy Bilyk

        “Tricky places, these third world African nations. Be skeptical, my friend.”

        Careful, Paul, that sounds really racist and classist.

        • Paul Resnikoff

          I always wonder why Madonna wouldn’t adopt two children from her home state of Michigan, which is certainly in a lot of trouble these days. Why not change the lives of two children from Detroit, a demoralized city? And, for that matter, one that desperately needs educational resources, millions for schools, etc.

          You can argue that the answer is that conditions are far worse in Africa, but I’m not sure that’s the primary motivation here. Malawi, unfortunately, may be seductive to someone like Madonna because she’s entirely unfamiliar with this region of the world and its culture. And, more importantly, the various complexities, conflicts, struggles, history and attitudes that define the people of this region.

          Which means she may have fallen into that ol’ Westerner trap of simplifying and objectifying a group like the Malawi people, and unfortunately, assuming a ‘Queen Madonna’ pedestal of benevolent superiority.

          If that’s the case, this letter really isn’t that surprising.

  2. Rev Dr Jesse Bateau

    This is a well formulated and clearly stated response to some very immature grandstanding behavior on the part of Madonna. She seems to think that she has some status above the rest of the ordinary mortals and that her status requires the rest of the world to suck up to her. This makes it clear that this is not so, and I am very happy to see it stated so eloquently. I am certain that it will be angrily dismissed as nonsense by Her Selfness, but she should Hark and Listen to the sound of reason, for there is much to be heard in what is written in this statement. Madonna has the ability to redeem herself and become a true statewoman, an ambassodor of goodwill between the US and Malawi, an impoverished African nation that could use any help that it can get. If she could set her enormous ego aside for more than 10 seconds and truly listen to the message inside, it gives her a way to truly redeem herself and become a true angel of light for the children of Malawi (not just the two that she “adopted”. I doubt if it would happen, but wouldn’t it just be great if she did it? For more of our Rock Idols to be Idols of Peace and Philanthropy? Wow, what a statement that would make on the world!

  3. WalidahImarisha

    Did Madonna just get checked by the government of Malawi for racist pseudo-philanthropy? Yes, yes she did. Hard.

  4. NehaRaySays

    #Malawi schooling #Madonna .I really like this country right now.

  5. MandalaSongs

    I’ve never seen a more comprehensive (awesome) retort!

  6. mr_trick

    Gary Neville never demanded special treatment so why should you?