Pop star Madonna visited a children’s ward in a hospital in Malawi Friday (April 5), but her visit to the African nation has also stirred up controversy.
Madonna and her children — including David and Mercy, whom she adopted from Malawi a few years ago — have been in Malawi this week visiting several projects Madonna has helped fund through her charity Raising Malawi. On Friday, she spent time with children and doctors at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, the country’s biggest city.
Malawi’s president, however, has criticized the singer for her work in building classrooms for children, saying she “insulted the people” by not getting government approval before starting construction on the schools, the Daily Mail reports.
President Joyce Banda says Madonna “came unannounced to villages and made poor people dance for her” before building classrooms. Banda also says Madonna reneged on a promise to build a $15 million girls’ school in Malawi.
In 2011, Madonna shut down the in-country arm of Raising Malawi and fired the staff there after allegations of financial mismanagement arose. Plans for the school went by the wayside then, and the charity has instead built or renovated classrooms at a number of schools across the country.