BY GREGORY GONDWE
Pop diva Madonna disclosed last Sunday that the paediatric and intensive care hospital her charitable organization Raising Malawi is building in Malawi will have a playroom which will be called Rebel Heart, which is the name of her thirteenth studio album released in March 2015.
“Every hospital needs to have a room where kids can play and have fun and forget about chemotherapies and surgeries,” said multi-award winning singer.
She said this after spending fifty minutes visiting the 50-bed facility being constructed at one of Malawi’s largest health facilities Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre.
The philanthropist singer, who was wearing a white long-sleeved blouse, a black designer top which had some silver linings around the chest with matching black pants said she is yet to name the facility when the media wanted to know if she had plans to name it after any of her adopted children.
“To tell you the truth, I have not thought about it. I hope when I come back I will have an answer for you. We will trade ideas,” said Madonna who was also wearing black shoes and a fedora.
“We don’t have a name yes,” she said, “but we have a building and we have dreams and they are going to be manifested very soon.”
Madonna told the Malawi media during a ten minutes long interaction outside the facility talked of how excited she was to see how the project has transformed from May 2015 when construction works commenced.
The 57-year-old star who accompanied her two adopted children from Malawi David Ritchie and Mercy James as well as daughter Lourdes Leon, 19, and Rocco Ritchie, 15, said the facility is scheduled to open by early 2017.
“This new facility is the first paediatric surgery and intensive care unit in any Malawi hospital. It will have an enormous impact on saving the lives of children,” she said.
The next stage Madonna said will be to attract staff that will include nurses, doctors, and administration people.
She said although the facility will be providing its services for free eventually at some point there will be some people that pay and then they will have other facilities for that including places for people to stay, sleep and shower and spend time with their children.
The Material Girl hit maker said she will sustain the facility until the end of time.
She also talked highly Professor Eric Borgstein who has been working with Maldonna’s charitable organization Raising Malawi which is behind the construction of the facility.
“Dr. Borgstein has been working here for many years working tirelessly to save children’s lives without having intensive care unit for children. And I think this new building gonna make a difference to save lives,” she said.
Madonna said Malawi Government is supporting the project morally but in terms of funding and fund raising she is going to do it by herself.
“I am gonna have lots of fundraising events; we have donors and we gonna continue doing fund raising and I am gonna continue funding it. I will do my work and I gonna pump it over here,” she said.
She could not say how much money has been injected into the project this far only saying “Alot, but it is never enough”
She said the facility is still being constructed and later it will need equipment and new people before it becomes fully operational.
“It’s gonna be my responsibility to make sure that this place and is fully operational on a regular basis, so I have a big job ahead of and so, wish me luck.”
Asked if there are any more projects in the offing for Malawi, she said she would rather do one thing because the hospital is a big undertaking and “I would like to do one thing really well than many things halfassed as they say in America”.
Madonna then explained about her big passion for children, especially in Malawi.
“I love children because human beings are at their purest state when they are children; they are the most honest, the most creative and ultimately my children have been my teachers. So we learn from children it seems that it should be the other way round but it’s actually [the case] if you talk to my children they will say that they have taught me a lot.”
Talking about what she has so far done since her arrival in Malawi on July 6 from Kenya, she said she has done a lot.
“I have visited Home of Hope Orphanage [where she adopted her son David]. We have visited the village of my son; his ancestors where he has been given a tribal name,” she explained disclosing that her son’s adopted ancentral name is now Senzangakhona.
Madonna told the Malawi media that raising David and Mercy has been amazing before turning to him: “David, how have I been raising you?”
She explained that her children are happy and that while inspecting the hospital David had been doing some dance routines.
“I am very envious of their talent. Mercy is an amazing gymnast and David is an amazing soccer player,” she said.
Madonna parried the question when she asked the media to ask her children what they dream to become.
“I want to become a professional soccer player,” said David while a shy speaking Mercy said: “I don’t know yet.”
Madonna also said the feud reported between herself and Mercy’s relatives is just a fabrication by the media before unleashing her own jibe: “A good journalist should do a good research but some people don’t.”
Madonna was tight-lipped on what she intends to discuss with Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika on their scheduled Sunday meeting.
She said she would like to have the state speak first because that’s she moves based on that direction. “A true politician that’s how I work.”
Madonna left Malawi on the July 12 and said besides meeting Mutharika she also spent the other remainder of the days playing soccer, among others.