I am very upset and saddened by today’s ruling by Judge Esimie chombo against the adoption of Mercy James. As a Malawian I am very disappointed, angry and outraged to say the least. Again Neo-Colonialism advocates in the name of Save the Children Fund UK has won.
Our honorouble Judge and others like Mavuto Bamusi have bought into the idea from international organisations assisting orphans in Malawi that adopting Mercy James is a bad thing and will set a precedent for others to follow but that could be farthest from the truth. In her judgement Judge Chombo warns against celebrity adoptions which she feels will lead to child trafficking, the same reasons Save the Children Fund UK gave some days ago. However I feel this decision was made with haste and without careful consideration. In years to come, Judge Chombo will have to explain to poor Mercy James why she is still in abject poverty when she had the chance to live a better life with the world’s most successful female recording artist of all times. It will be a world of what ifs for poor Mercy when 15 years from now she struggles with life wondering who will pay for her college tuition fees, provide her with a descent home to live, clothes to wear, opportunities to earn money after college etc etc . This case in my opinion is a human rights issue, if only Mercy had a chance to voice her own opinion. At the same time, we all know once adopted Mercy James’ life would be transformed forever, something both Judge Chombo and some international NGOs keep forgetting. One would think Judges are more compassionate than what we have heard today. Did the honourable Judge even consider all those kids who would have loved to be in Mercy’s position right now. Put simply the honourable Judge has shown poor judgement in the ruling which warrants an appeal to a higher court where the interests of the child will be put first.
As far as these senseless NGOs go, what business do they have to dictate to Malawians what to do? As much as we appreciate the job they do, we also need powerful Malawian players on the world stage advocating for Malawi and African interests, these kids provide for that opportunity. Does Save the Children Fund UK and others have something against the continent? How come they never showed this kind of resistance before in the many adoptions by celebrities in other parts of the world? When Mr Brad Pitt and Miss Angelina Jolie adopted two boys from Asia there was no vocal protests from these quarter to suggest international laws were being broken. What is wrong with giving a Sub-Saharan African kid the opportunity of living a life everybody only dreams of? I think this gesture from Save the Children Fund UK is suspect and not welcome. Maybe they are afraid of losing their day job as these new generation of Africans will indeed be in the fore front doing their job in years to come. Africa needs powerful spokes people in the world to look out for its interests, David Banda will be one of them. International NGOs need to understand we will not need their help forever, we also want to be self reliant and solve our own problems.
Judge Chombo and Mr Bamusi have chosen to play politics over this issue. The judgement lacks substance because no amount of care in Malawi can be better than the care she would have received with Madonna being her mother. Interms of setting a precedent for child trafficking, that also lacks substance, ofcourse Madonna is a superstar, her rules of adoption can not be the same as everybody elses. Madonna is no stranger as she is always in the public glare and her every move is monitored. If she was a bad mother to David we would have known that by now. Look at how David Banda is thriving now, he is beyond belief thanks to Madonna. He attends one of the best schools in the world, and is well travelled already.
I hope the Court of Appeal brings soberness to this hearing and allow Mercy to join her new family in New York city as soon as possible.