Renowned global singer and philanthropist, Yvonne Chaka Chaka shares her thoughts about being one of the recipients of this prestigious internatonal award.
Affectionately known as the ‘Princess of Africa’, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Somali-Canadian social activist, Ilwad Elman, will share the stage when they both receive the Global Good Awards at the 2017 BET Awards on 25 June. Chaka Chaka and Elman will join past Global Good winners, philanthropist Akon for his ‘Lighting Africa’ initiative and Tanzanian supermodel, Millen Magese for her dedicated work in maternal and women’s health, as well as the education of African girls on self-care through her Millen Magese Foundation.
Chaka Chaka will be recognised at the annual music event for her philanthropy, as she has been an advocate of good works in Africa. She has served as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund and has partnered with Roll Back Malaria for the past 12 years. The singer has also started the Princess of Africa Foundation, which aims to carry out community and advocacy work. She says, “The awards are something I had never expected, as BET is a very big channel. Walking on the same stage that singer Chaka Khan walked on to receive her award years ago is an honour for me.
She continues, “Being raised by my single mother after my dad passed on wasn’t easy, especially since she was a domestic worker. The greatest gift she gave my siblings and me was education, which seemed the only way to get out of the poverty that surrounded us. I started my music career to express the injustices we faced during the apartheid era and music also gave me the opportunity to travel around the world, which opened my eyes to the common social challenges people face, from racism to poverty.”
“I feel privileged to have a successful music career and I wanted to find ways to give back to the people who made me who I am. This is the reason I started my philanthropic work,” Chaka Chaka explains. “The Princess of Africa Foundation aims to address the issues of HIV, malaria as well as providing nutritious food to those in need. We also aim to empower every child to break the cycle of gender inequality. I also engage with different leaders in government and organisations to find ways of helping society. I feel we need to continue empowering women because by doing that we continue to uplift the world.”
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