Home > Development > Yvonne Chaka Chaka- First WEF female crystal award winner

Yvonne Chaka Chaka- First WEF female crystal award winner


Chaka Chaka, a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations’ Roll Back Malaria Partnership, was presented with the award during the opening ceremony of the forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday. “For many years Yvonne has used her voice to draw attention to the causes that will change the lives of millions, from ending apartheid to improving maternal and child health,” Hilde Schwab, co-founder of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, who presented the award, said in a statement. “Yvonne has clearly understood her opportunities to do good and the access her powerful voice allows, through both song and conversation, to reach and influence those who can act,” she said.

Previous winners of the award include actor Richard Gere, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, producer, composer and musician Quincy Jones, and singer Youssou N’Dour and the Micro Mba’s very own Cedric Bufler has won a WEF award. “The people least responsible for the crisis are paying for it with their lives.” said Yvonne. They had almost no access to health services, missing out on medical advances and dying of treatable diseases. “We here in this room are the global political and business elite and we have the power, the money and the knowledge to ensure that all people have access to prevention and treatment services to lead productive lives. We know what works, now we need to make it happen.”

Chaka Chaka, who hails from Dobsonville, south-west of Johannesburg, has produced over 20 albums, with hits such as “Umqombothi”, and “Thank You Mr DJ”, and was recently in a documentary film, “A Motherland Tour – A Journey of African Women”. This took her on a world tour to promote the successes of those engaged in the daily battle against HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria. At the end of 2011, she and fellow Roll Back Malaria Goodwill Ambassador N’Dour recorded “Proud to Be” for Interpol to raise public awareness of the dangers of fake medicines. She became involved in the malaria campaign after one of her back-up singers, Phumzile Ntuli, died of malaria in 2004. Chaka Chaka was the first Goodwill Ambassador for the global Roll Back Malaria Partnership. She is also United Nations Childrens Fund goodwill ambassador for malaria in Africa, United Nations Millennium Development Goals envoy for Africa, and was the first ambassador for former president Nelson Mandela‘s Children’s Fund.

The global Fund this year has been unable to roll out its grants that are targeted mainly at AIDs and Malaria and this is such a tragedy. Innocent people will continue to die as funding towards these great causes continues to dwindle. While on Talk Radio 702 Yvonne expressed great concern about the dwindling funding into health issues. Africa’s poorest die and they do not have any way out. If it is a choice of spending $2 on malaria tablets or buying maize meal, mothers often choose food over medication. The world can reverse this, if resources are channeled towards such worthy causes.

It is such an admirable thing when people with a voice speak out about important issues. Yvonne did not just go and take pictures as the global ambassador, but instead she got her hands dirty, did the research and took on the role with enthusiasm and passion. I believe that if we all can do this, whether by promoting a cause, volunteering or donating our money or resources, we can do so much more.

Well done Yvonne. you have certainly lives up to be the princess of Africa.

Categories: Development
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