Yvonne Chaka Chaka
RBM & UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and UN Envoy for Africa
South African superstar Yvonne Chaka Chaka was shocked when a member of her band, Phumzile Ntuli, died from malaria in 2004. “The real tragedy here is that her death was avoidable,” she said in a eulogy for the talented musician. “She did not have to die because malaria is preventable, treatable and curable.”
At this point, the renowned singer was more than two decades into a highly successful career and decided to start using her talent and influence to educate people about malaria and other preventable diseases.
“The Motherland Tour - A Journey of African Women”
To highlight this reality and inspire positive change, Ms Chaka Chaka toured across Africa to meet with women who are pioneering sustainable progress on health issues in their communities. Her travels led to the production of a heart-warming film entitled “The Motherland Tour - A Journey of African Women,” which shares the personal stories of those she encountered and profiles their grass roots work on issues including maternal and child health, women’s empowerment, education, and poverty.
In the fall of 2010 Ms Chaka Chaka, fondly known to her fans as the “Princess of Africa,” was with Roll Back Malaria (RBM) in New York during the United Nations' General Assembly to raise awareness about the important role women must play in the fight against malaria, as women and children bear the greatest burden of this disease. On 29 November, 2010 Ms Chaka Chaka was honoured with a special award from RBM and the United Nations for her work as RBM Goodwill Ambassador and for her significant contribution and long-standing commitment to empowering women and children in their fight to free Africa of diseases such as HIV and malaria.
Just beforehand, Ms Chaka Chaka spoke to PMNCH at an event in Ottawa featuring an advance screening of her documentary. She spoke about her strong belief in the ability of women to “deliver” solutions for Africa with support from the international community.
- Listen to the Yvonne Chaka Chaka's interview November 2010
- Film trailer for "The Motherland Tour - A Journey of African Women"
- PMNCH Report from the Canadian event: Partnership, key to helping Africa’s women + children overcome health challenges
- A eulogy from Yvonne Chaka Chaka for her friend Phumzile Ntuli
- Yvonne Chaka Chaka’s website