South African pop singer feels right at home in Hobart

SINGER and humanitarian Yvonne Chaka Chaka may be half a world away from her South African home but the AIDS campaigner feels as though she never left.

“I love it – it looks just like Cape Town,” she said yesterday of Hobart.

“With the mountain and houses on the hillside and the harbour – I could move here.”

The pop singer, once referred to by Nelson Mandela as “my princess of Africa”, is in Australia for the international AIDS conference, the same event many of the passengers on board the ill-fated Malaysian Airlines MH17 flight were also to attend.

Ms Chaka Chaka said that despite the tragedy, the remaining delegates had continued their work.

“Everybody who was there wanted to do their best so their deaths would not go in vain,” she said.

“It’s sad that we’ve lost great people but I’m sure lots of work has been done so their legacy will live on.”

Tonight, Ms Chaka Chaka will be at the State Cinema in North Hobart for a screening of her documentary The Motherland Tour: A Journey of African Women.

The film intertwines her personal story with those of African women who have  experienced issues such as malaria, HIV-AIDS and
poverty. Executive producer Louis de Gama said the film was about capturing stories of ordinary people trying to achieve extraordinary things.

“The purpose was to inspire people to take action to want to have a world where social justice and equity are not things we talk about theoretically but are a reality.”

Ms Chaka Chaka will visit Moonah Primary School today as part of its Malaria Month fundraising to buy malaria nets.

“I think children are the best agents of change,” she said.“When you teach children about these things from a very early age, they become great adults.”

The Motherland Tour: A Journey of African Women screens at the State Cinema tonight from 6-8pm.

Published in The Mercury on July 28, 2014.




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