Ban Ki-moon wishes Yvonne Chaka Chaka a happy birthday

2015-04-01 14:11

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The United Nations secretary-general and other world leaders joined forces to wish the Princess of Africa, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, a happy 50th birthday and celebrate her 10th year as a United Nations goodwill ambassador.

“You have made enormous contributions to the United Nations and our world. I am proud to march side by side with you for a better future. You are truly the Princess of Africa, our queen of equality, and an invaluable friend of the United Nations,” said Ban in a rare video message aired at a glittering press breakfast held at Summerplace in Johannesburg yesterday.

The event highlighted a lifetime of Chaka Chaka’s work as a goodwill ambassador for the Rollback Malaria campaign – a passion of hers since the her long-time band member Phumzile Ntuli died after contracting malaria during a concert tour.

“I was so puzzled by her death. At the time I didn’t know much about the disease, but her death hugely affected me. So I did a lot of research on the disease and discovered it was treatable and preventable – and I decided to dedicate my life to spreading awareness about the disease,” she said

It is estimated that a child dies from malaria every minute.

Herve Verhoosel, a Roll Back Malaria Partnership representative, revealed that since joining the partnership, Chaka Chaka had been able to triple financing for malaria treatment and has helped reduce the mortality rate by 55%.

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