Don’t count Malawai President Joyce Banda as one of Madonna’s millions of fans.
After Madonna finished her weeklong humanitarian trip on Saturday to the impoverished country, Banda reportedly revoked the singer’s VIP status at the airport and made her — gasp — go through standard security checks with regular travellers, according to The Telegraph.
Banda had previously complained to a reporter about the singer getting VIP access on her way into the country and about the way she treated the kids with whom she met during her visit.
“She just came unannounced and proceeded to villages and made poor people dance for her. And immigration officials opened the VIP lounge for her just because previously she enjoyed the VIP status,” Banda told a journalist covering her trip, according to the paper.
But the beef between Banda and Madonna goes even further back.
In 2011, Madonna, who has reportedly spent over $11 million of her own money on Malawian projects since 2006, suddenly canceled plans to build an all-girls school, in favour of erecting 10 community schools.
In 2012, President Banda spoke to The Telegraph, saying “Madonna came to Malawi to build a school, an academy like the one Oprah (Winfrey) build in South Africa, but she changed her mind.”
Banda also took issue with Madonna’s adoption of two Malawian children — 7-year-old David and 6-year-old Mercy.
“I have a problem with a lot of things around the adoption of the children and the changing of the mind and then coming back to build community schools,” she continued to the paper. “It’s something [Madonna] offered to do, and she has changed her mind—that’s fine.”
Education Minister Eunice Kazembe told the BBC, “They have said they have built 10 schools in Malawi, and on our side, what we know is that she has built classrooms. She has built classrooms at existing schools…really it’s a difference in terminology.”
But perhaps Banda’s beef with Madonna is due to more personal reasons after the singer fired Banda’s sister from serving as her nonprofit’s CEO. Banda’s sister now works for the Ministry of Education.
Banda also reportedly didn’t appreciate a handwritten note the popstar wrote her, addressing Malwai’s first female president by her first name, Joyce, and misspelling words throughout the note.
Check out the letter — in which Madonna tries and fails to smooth things over with Banda — here >
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