"Truly hard to comprehend" - Madonna child trafficking claim goes viral, sparks widespread reactions 

Child trafficking allegations against Madonna explored (Image via AP)
Child trafficking allegations against Madonna explored (Image via AP)

Pop star Madonna has been trending on Twitter after being accused of child trafficking. The Ethiopian World Federation, which “advocates to change the laws that harm all Black people,” has accused the singer of exploiting children. They have reportedly uncovered several problems in the musician’s adoption of her four children -- David Banda, Mercy James, and twins Esther and Stella.

The EWF has requested Malawian President Lazarus Chakwara to investigate Madonna’s charity Raising Malawi. The non-profit claims to support orphans and vulnerable children by providing health and educational programs.

The organization is asking the Material Girl singer and her associates to be restricted from Africa and not be given access to African children until an investigation into - “child trafficking, s*x exploitation, s*xual slavery, adoption reversal, the threat of coercion, fraud, deception and abuse of power or vulnerability” - is completed.

In the EWF’s petition, they cited Madonna’s 1992 book S*x as a cause for concern. The book included adult content, p*rnography, bestiality, sadomasochism, and LGBTQ content. LGBTQ conduct is reportedly punishable by law in the country of Malawi. The EWF claimed that in the book S*x:

“Gay p*rn stars were photographed in p*rnographic pictures with Madonna performing vulgar s*x acts with the same s*x which should have been disclosed during her adoption case in 2006 in Lilongwe, Malawi.”

The organization further claimed that her book’s child p*rnographic content, religious imagery, and other vulgar media prompted her to open her own orphanage - Raising Malawi - “to host social experiments on vulnerable African children in Malawi.”

Concerns towards Madonna’s adoptions explored

The EWF claimed that Madonna was using her adopted son, David Banda, “for s*xual exploitation and social experiments.” This comes after images of Banda wearing women’s clothing, makeup, and jewelry were brought to light. The singer is also alleged to have baselessly accused Banda’s biological father, Yohane, of being an absent father.

Since David Banda’s adoption, Yohane has expressed concerns over Madonna being a parent. A key point in this matter is the singer’s split from Guy Ritchie. Following their separation, Madonna's teenage son Rocco refused to return home with Madonna.

The singer also reportedly promised Yohane that she would give Banda a good education and let him come home to live with his biological father. However, that allegedly did not transpire.

After a court battle, the Hung Up musician also adopted Mercy James. The singer was able to do so despite being accused of child trafficking in the past as well. Judge Esimie Chombo had initially expressed concern over Hollywood celebrities adopting children, which could potentially lead to child trafficking. She said:

“Anyone could come to Malawi and quickly arrange for an adoption that might have grave consequences on the very child that the law seeks to protect.”

Madonna eventually took the matter up to the Supreme Court and won the battle. However, Mercy James’ grandmother Lucy shared a gut-wrenching insight into her adoption. The grandma revealed that the child was placed in an orphanage until her immune system improved. She noted that she did not have plans to permanently part ways with James.

James’ family went on to let Madonna adopt Mercy James until she reached grade-school age, after which she would return to Malawi to stay with her family. The family also noted that they asked Madonna to let James return to the country every two years for visits.

Madonna and Mercy James did return to Malawi. However, the latter did not get the chance to meet her grandmother despite she being on her deathbed and begging to see her granddaughter. The singer’s lawyers addressed the incident in 2011 and stated that James’ family had “no legal right to see her.” Speaking about James, Lucy said in an interview:

“before I die, I should set my eyes on her so that my spirit is rejuvenated… Should I really die without seeing her? Oh God!”

Mercy James’ adoption was signed off by her biological uncle Peter Baneti. In an interview, he said that the singer had told him that she did not intend for Mercy to “cut ties with her roots.” However, it was later found that the family could not meet James as the aforementioned conditions were simply a verbal contract and not a written agreement.

The singer was also given permission to adopt twins Esther and Stella after she agreed to give them a good education and then return them to their biological father, Adam Mwale. It was believed that the singer would take on the role of a foster mom. However, this ended up becoming a permanent adoption.

During the legal process of adopting the twins, Mwale was accused of being an absent father, similar to the case of David Banda’s adoption. Mwale claimed that he placed the children in an orphanage after the death of his wife and the twins’ biological mother.

Speaking about his parenting, Mwale said in an interview that he would often meet the twins in their orphanage:

“I used to cycle there down a dirt road, taking two hours each way. I brought little dresses and gifts from them and they would sit on my lap, one twin on either side. And laugh and play with me. They called me Ababa [which means father in Chechewa].”

Madonna once claimed she was building 10 schools in Malawi

In 2012, the singer announced that she wanted to educate at least 1,000 kids in the country of Malawi. She stated that she planned to build 10 schools. However, that was not authorized by Malawi’s Ministry of Education.

Reports claimed that the educational institutions would also be equipped with luxury amenities including cars, golf course memberships, free housing and a driver for the school’s director as well.

After the matter was brought to the government’s attention, the Ministry of Education’s spokesperson Lindiwe Chide told Reuters that they were “fed up” with the singer.

Several people have raised eyebrows over the singer's activities in Malawi. In a 2007 interview, Angelina Jolie, who has also adopted multiple children, expressed concern over Madonna’s adoption of Banda.

Jolie said:

“Personally, I prefer to stay on the right side of the law. I would never take a child away from a place where adoption is illegal. Madonna knew the situation in Malawi, where he was born. It’s a country where there is no real legal framework for adoption.”

Netizens react to Madonna's recent controversy

Internet users have expressed immense concern over the latest allegations. However, some were not surprised.

A few of the reactions read as follows:

The singer has currently removed all of her posts from Instagram.

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Edited by Karishma Rao
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