Madonna moved to tears on Kenya trip

Madonna met Kenyan First Lady Margaret Kenyatta on Monday.
Madonna met Kenyan First Lady Margaret Kenyatta on Monday. PHOTO: REUTERS

NAIROBI • Pop star Madonna was reduced to tears during a trip to Kenya as she listened to a man describe how his five-year-old daughter was recently raped by a neighbour in Nairobi's Kibera slum.

The 57-year-old singer met the man during a visit to Kibera last Saturday and Sunday. She was there to see how she could improve the lives of its residents, a spokesman said.

"This was an incredibly powerful and disturbing conversation about the realities of violence in these people's lives," said Mr Trevor Neilson, who manages Madonna's Raising Malawi and Ray Of Light foundations and accompanied her on the trip.

"These stories brought Madonna to tears," Mr Neilson told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Madonna, who took her four children to the East African country, posted a video on Instagram, showing them cleaning streets, clearing gutters and painting murals.

She also met Kenya's First Lady Margaret Kenyatta on Monday to discuss working with her charity to scale up maternal and child health programmes and initiatives against gender violence.

Madonna's welcome in Kenya was in contrast to the criticism she faced after visiting Malawi in 2013, when she was accused by the country of expecting its government to be forever chained in an "obligation of gratitude" towards her for adopting two Malawian children and contributing to the construction of classrooms there.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 07, 2016, with the headline Madonna moved to tears on Kenya trip. Subscribe