World leaders are singing the praises of South African singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka as she marks 10 years as Goodwill Ambassador for the Roll Back Malaria partnership and UNICEF.
At a recent press conference held in JHB, Chaka Chaka was acknowledged for her continuing work and commitment to maternal and child health.
‘You have made enormous contributions to the United Nations and our world. I am proud to march side by side with you for a better future. You are truly the Princess of Africa, our Queen of Equality, and an invaluable friend of the United Nations,’ said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Chaka Chaka revealed that she became an activist after her friend and former back-up singer Phumzile Ntuli died after contracting malaria during a concert tour to Gabon in 2004.
‘I was so puzzled by her death. At the time I didn’t know much about the disease, but her death hugely affected me. So I did a lot of research into the disease and discovered it was treatable and preventable – and I decided to dedicate my life to spreading awareness about it,’ she said.
The singer has since travelled widely to various African countries affected by the disease.
‘I love working at a community level, I love going into the field,’ she said.
The iconic singer and philanthropist (who recently turned 50) is also celebrating 30 years in the music industry.
‘I am grateful for the life God has given me. All I want is to see more children living longer and better lives.’