Dad doesn’t want daughter adopted by “half-naked” Madonna

Madonna in concertJames Kambewa, the father of Mercy James, the four-year-old girl Madonna tried to adopt in Malawi last month, is relieved that the singer’s application was denied. Kambewa told the Daily Mail: “Madonna has millions of dollars but that doesn’t make her a good mum. Parental love is more than money. Besides, I don’t think Madonna is a model mum. I have seen her in movies of her songs. She doesn’t portray good morals.” He added: “How can a woman of 50 dance almost naked on stage? I wouldn’t want my daughter to grow up like that! In Malawi women respect themselves. Cultured women do not go about half-naked. I also heard after her marriage failed she is already seeing two men, both very younger than her and her ex-husband. I hear one of them is even less than half her age. That’s scandalous. How can a normal woman fall for a boy who can as well be her son? No, spare my Mercy that scandal.” Madonna, who has filed an appeal, is confident that she’ll be able get the ruling overturned and will soon be able to adopt Mercy. ~movi_alex

As seen in issue #396 of Movie Mail Newsletter.

Share this article:

Comments & Discussion

  1. Katrine • May 1, 2009 @ 7:49 AM

    I never thought of Madonna that way before, but I have to say that I do agree with Mercy’s father.

  2. Minerva • May 1, 2009 @ 8:43 AM

    Oh give me a break. If he were a good father the girl wouldn’t need to be adopted in the first place. How Madonna makes her money may have nothing to do with her maternal skills at all. But I think it would be nicer if she’d consider some needy North American kid. Lord knows there are already enough foreign kids being brought over whose own parents can’t or won’t take adequate care of them in their own countries. I suspect this child’s father is the last one who should be pointing any fingers at anyone else’s parenting abilities!

  3. Krista • May 1, 2009 @ 9:27 AM

    I agrree with Mercy’s fathe. Modonna is not a fit parent and should not allowed to have children. She is not a good role model at all. The child’s culture is better for her than Modonna.

  4. Katrine • May 1, 2009 @ 9:32 AM

    I don’t think it’s anything to do with Mercy’s father being a “bad” father – I believe most of those kids in orphanages over there are there because their parent’s do not have the financial resources to support them, not because of their parenting abilities.

  5. Nancy • May 1, 2009 @ 9:52 AM

    I read that until Madonna was refused the adoption, Mercy’s father had no idea of her. Her mother died 8 days after her birth and her family supposedly never found him and told him he had a child. The adoption process was supposedly how he found out. I don’t know how much money he makes or whether he can care for the girl or not. I can’t blame him for wanting his daughter to respect herself and not strut around half naked. I don’t understand why this has to be about “ownership” for Madonna. Why can she not just monetarily help out this girl? Make sure she goes to school or has a school to go to, good health care and when she’s older she may want to come to America then to further her education.

  6. Jessie • May 1, 2009 @ 10:51 AM

    Minerva, I think the reason the girls father put her up for adoption is because he doesn’t have enough money to give her the life he wants her to have. A lot of children are put up for adoption in poor countries because the parents want their kids to have good lives and be able to go to school. It may not be that he’s a bad father, but Malawi is a poor country so being able to support a family is harder.

  7. jodi • May 1, 2009 @ 12:31 PM

    Why is Madonna adopting kids who have living parents? Why not adopt kids who have NO parents, or give support to help families stay together?

    Madonna is lame.

  8. dAWN • May 1, 2009 @ 1:35 PM

    Adoption….I think its honestly over rated(for hollywood stars)(now a days)..all these people with money are going OVER SEAS to adopt children, thats great…but what about the children in your own country…are the american children not good enough? or even canadian. As soon as these kids are 18 they are kicked out! What happens to those children? Why not take care of the people here before you run off to somewhere else? It would be like a mother who has her own children, who is running off always to look after someone elses children and making her own children feel unloved and unwanted!

    If she wanted to help out (I agree with Nancy) Why not be charitable and help the parents out! Its not like they WANT to give their babies up, its just that they cant afford to give them what they need, and what every child needs is their parents.(in most cases)

    If I had that kind of money Id be donating to parents or making it so the orphanages are doing well and the children are better educated in the sex ed department(I say sex ed, because it seems like they arent taught about it, having babies and not being able to care for them is not a great way to live not that they dont love their children but if they waited or at least took precautions then maybe there wouldnt be so many problems), and help them to make something of themselfs. Give them the start they need in life.

  9. Nadia • May 1, 2009 @ 2:37 PM

    Whats the deal with stars and adoption?
    It kinda became more a fashion than a good loving action for children in need of parents.
    Here’s what they offer to them…

    *lots of money to give them whatever they want instead of crying or making a scene,

    *A nanny to babysit them all year while they are on tour or on movie set or whatever famous people need to do in order to stay at the top…

    *A cook and a personal stylist (ok…i don’t really know about that one…but I wouldn’t be surprise)

    *And a precious “family time” filled with affection and happyness, surrounded by the media and its many photographers and interviewers.

    Children don’t need stardom and money to get what they want…

    They need unconditional love, a good moral education with strong rooted beliefs!

    I’m sure all stars are not like that, but unfortunately, some of them are being remembered through the media only because of the children they decide to adopt every month.

    A child is not a gadget meant to make you look better…or like a puppy to make you smile when he does a trick for a cookie…

    Its a human being who need a good base in life.

  10. Max Powers • May 1, 2009 @ 3:55 PM

    Adopt a baby is the NEW adopt a puppy from the 80’s

    “look at all the puppies, oops I mean babies I have I’m such a world humanitarion. look at me, I’m saving all the babies, I’m a good person”(all in her new british accent)

    Angolina 7 babies Modonna 5 babies first to 10 wins.

  11. Anon • May 1, 2009 @ 5:18 PM

    Nancy on May 1, 2009 9:52 AM

    Wow, I can’t believe I agree with you on this one. She probably does already donate quite a bit. Maybe she has the itch, for lack of better word, to have another but feels she is too old to have her own? Or maybe its hard to continue living a completely self-indulgent lifestyle knowing that others are dying. I know I couldnt. . . maybe thats why Im so freaking broke all the time! Note to self: Must start seriously self indulging to better the world.

    dAWN on May 1, 2009 1:35 PM

    I strongly agree with you, charity should start at home and then extend outside. Too many of our own unwanted children here to be looking offshore. Especially in the good ole USA Your analogy is right on about the mother looking out for others while neglecting her own children’s needs. As for your sex ed comments, do they have access to birth control as easily as we have? I would think food, shelter and water are a higher priority than trekking out to find a supply of pills.

  12. charles .u.farley • May 1, 2009 @ 6:22 PM

    There needs to be a way for us to help orphans,within and without. Citizens can examine the budgets of their goverments,and demand changes.(especialy those cunttries that spend 600 billion dollars EVERY YEAR!!! on militarism.) Recomend that everyone visit ,factor in the HUMAN equation.!!!

  13. ace freely • May 1, 2009 @ 8:56 PM

    Umm, why do we care what this man has to say about parenting and parental responsibilities…
    His kid is in an orphanage!
    If this piller of Malawi parenthood is so concerned, perhaps he should take care of his responsibilities.

  14. mandee • May 1, 2009 @ 11:25 PM

    maybe he is TRYING to take care of his responsibilities and that is why madonna was unable to adopt mercy? i wouldnt want MY mother (who is 60) to be dancing around on a stage infront of millions of people half naked, and i also wouldnt want her singing songs like “like a virgin” lol.

  15. Sara • May 1, 2009 @ 11:26 PM

    The unfortunate reality for many families in Africa is that they are not able to feed their children, especially if one parent dies leaving no one old enough to care for an infant. The choice comes between all the children not having any food or any supervision and deciding to give a child up for adoption. This is not something these parents want to do, but they have no choice. Many of these families are single parent families, many of the mothers die in childbirth because there is no adequate health care available. Often a 10 year old will be taking care of younger siblings who are not able to attend a free school yet, and that means that they cannot attend school either, but it is impossible to add an infant to that child’s responsibilities. These parents are making sacrifices so that their children will not die. They should at least have the right to have a little bit of say about the parent(s) who adopt their children.

    What would you do in that situation? Allow your child to die of starvation and neglect so that you and your other children can eat one meal a day, or give your child up so that you and your other children can eat one meal a day. There is no welfare system in Malawi, there is no other help.

  16. Minerva • May 2, 2009 @ 5:22 AM

    Yes Jessie, I agree, it’s a poor country, but also, when the country is so poor, there are many other poor families that make it on what they have. Poor would be the majority, not the minority. Besides, this so called father says he’s seen Madonna in movies of her music. Does this mean he in all probability has technical equipment that plays these music videos?? If so, where did he get the money to afford that, but non available to help raise his daughter? If he means he saw Madonna in movies, where does he get the extra money to go to movies if he’s so poor? If I were THAT poor in a country like that, I’d be feeling pretty lucky that anybody, especially a multimillionaire was taking an interest in my child, and instead of picking the person apart, I’d be thrilled that she was able to get a good chance at an education and a decent life, even if it’s in a different country with a different culture. You know what they say about looking a gift horse in the mouth. All eyes would be on Madonna, she isn’t going to raise this child to be immoral with the world watching….both worlds at that. There is a different culture in North America, we do go around half naked here…we wear shorts and halter tops and also bathing suits. In that country they likely don’t even take off those subservient headwear thingys. His daughter is being offered a chance he should be jumping at if he cared at all for the girl. Poor people raise their own children all the time, but obviously he isn’t willing to try. Maybe he’d have to give up his hot videos if he was saddled with a kid to care for.

  17. Jo-Anne • May 2, 2009 @ 9:42 AM

    excellent Minerva…echo your sentiments…

  18. lily • May 2, 2009 @ 2:42 PM

    omg Minerva you sound INCREDIBLY racist to me. First of all those “subservient headwear thingys” are called hijabs and — weather or not YOU agree with them — Muslim women wear them to show modesty and respect for there faith. Secondly, you say “Id be thrilled that she was able to get a good chance at an education and a decent life” but the mans whole point is that it would NOT be a “decent” life cause he thinks Madonna is immoral. Beleive it or not, some people care more about morals then money and just because someone is rich does NOT mean they would be a good parent!!! Finally, those “movies of her songs” that he’s talking about are obviously videos so he could have seen them on a tv shared by his whole village.
    Sara and Mandee, I completely agree with your sensitive and thoughtful comments. Minerva and JoAnn, shame on you.

  19. Anon • May 2, 2009 @ 9:32 PM

    lily on May 2, 2009 2:42 PM

    Jo-Anne and Minerva are realists. There is an opportunity for this child to go somewhere in life that she will never have in a female suppressive society. Not only would Madonna be able to give her a future, Im sure she would ensure that this kid has a connection to her culture and extended family. I think you are romanticizing the situation with the talk about morals over money; in this situation you cant make that comparison. It makes no sense. Personally, I think she should give this opportunity to kids in her own community before going offshore. Or if she really wants to help those kids over there, sponsor a few and keep them with their families.

  20. Anon • May 2, 2009 @ 9:38 PM

    As for the Muslim women wearing hijabs to show modesty and respect for there faith…that was a tradition that was forced on them by the men that wrote the fictitious koran. They are no different than the burka.

    Shoot, my comments are being moderated?????

  21. lily • May 2, 2009 @ 10:26 PM

    the “fictitious Koran”? Because its not YOUR religion doesn’t make it okay to declare anyones beleifs based on fiction. I’m not a christian so should I criticise catholic women for traditions “forced on them by the men who wrote the fictitious” bible???

    Chitchat about celebrities is one thing cause who really cares what different people think about stuff like Mel Gibsons lovelife. But holy cow these intolerant ignorent religious assumptions are truly revolting!

  22. Jo-Anne • May 2, 2009 @ 10:44 PM

    holy cow???

  23. Anon • May 2, 2009 @ 10:48 PM

    lily on May 2, 2009 10:26 PM
    Im not a christian so should I criticise catholic women for traditions forced on them by the men who wrote the fictitious bible???

    Sure, why not. Another fantasy as well.

    As for the “ignorent religious assumptions, I feel the same way, on the flip side. Religion causes conflicts and separates and alienates good people from each other.

  24. Anon • May 2, 2009 @ 10:52 PM

    lily on May 2, 2009 10:26 PM

    lily on May 2, 2009 10:26 PM

    I cant stand scrolling back through past conversations and you can correct me if I’m wrong, but I do believe you had the same sentiments on another topic.

  25. Anon • May 2, 2009 @ 11:03 PM

    lily on May 2, 2009 10:26 PM

    It’s unfortunate that my comment – Anon on May 2, 2009 9:32 PM is under moderation. It was very polite and addressed to you lily. The comment you took offence to was in response to your comment to Minerva and Jo-Anne

  26. Anon • May 2, 2009 @ 11:24 PM

    Jo-Anne on May 2, 2009 10:44 PM
    holy cow???

    Maybe she’s hindu??

  27. Jo-Anne • May 3, 2009 @ 12:18 AM


    yeah, Anon, it’s wierd which material they choose to monitor or omit…never quite understood it myself…but hey, guess “dickhead” slips thru their radar ha ha….(extra ha for Potty Mouth)

  28. lily • May 3, 2009 @ 6:38 AM

    Your right about the “holy cow” thing, JoAnne. I never thought about that before because its something I always say, so I apoligize if I offended anyone. I can tell your being sarcastic but I still think its a good point.
    Anon, we DO agree about organized religion seperating people. Thats why I don’t belong to any church. But i’m still going to find it horrible when anyone is looked down on/made fun of/judged for there beleifs, especially by people who judge because they assume there own faith is the only “right” one (and I’m NOT saying that about anyone on this site). Thats defenitely not what your doing because your not religious at all, and I’m sorry for the way I anwsered you. You said EXACTLY what I think when you said “Religion causes conflicts and separates and alienates good people from each other.” Thats what I see happenning when some people here are judging this Indian father because he’s from a different faith and culture.

  29. Anon • May 3, 2009 @ 9:07 AM

    Jo-Anne on May 3, 2009 12:18 AM


    lily on May 3, 2009 6:38 AM

    I don’t think making fun of the “head gear” reflects their respect for other people’s values or beliefs. The comment was in response to the father’s views on ours. For the record, Im not a big fan of Madonna, but I also think that this kid has an opportunity that she will never get in a women suppressed society. Who knows, she may even be circumcised when shes old enough. Have you ever thought that the fathers morals might be a ploy to up the ante and make a few bucks as Madonna obviously wants this kid pretty bad. I dont believe for a minute that his motives are sincere.

  30. Anon • May 3, 2009 @ 9:11 AM

    Anon on May 3, 2009 9:07 AM Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Again!!! What the hell? This is really starting to get on my nerves; it completely ruins conversations. Absolute bull, especially as Jo says that dickhead among others make it through.

  31. Anon • May 3, 2009 @ 9:16 AM

    That’s two posts waiting to be moderated!
    May 3, 2009 9:07 AM and May 3, 2009 9:11 AM

    Actually three. This is seriously effecting conversations. Lily wasn’t able to see my initial comment and when I threw something else in, it made it sound insulting as the first post had yet (and is still waiting) to be screened.

    Get it together tribute!! This is nonsense.

  32. Anon • May 3, 2009 @ 9:30 AM

    Since my comments seem to be the only ones being moderated, I am assuming someone has complained about something?????

  33. lily • May 3, 2009 @ 9:35 AM

    Very wierd, anon, since you and tributegirl generally sound like the best educated people here with your vocabulary and well explained comments. Anyways I’m looking forward to getting to read ALL your replies!!!

  34. Anon • May 3, 2009 @ 10:57 AM

    Hear that Nancy???? hahaha

  35. lily • May 3, 2009 @ 2:32 PM

    Its not a contest, anon, and if it was I would be in no place to judge it since I bearly made it out of grade 12 myself.
    Why do you have to take a simple complement and turn it into a way to start another fight? Looks like I overestimated your smarts after all.

  36. Carol • May 3, 2009 @ 5:15 PM

    I get what some of you are saying, about saving/adoping kids at home. BUT, the thing is, there are so many people on the adoption lists, so if Madonna did adopt at home, she’d probably be at the top of the list because of her riches and connections, and then we’d be up in arms about that. It’s a tough call. There are kids everywhere who need our help. I do think, given her lifestyle, that Madonna would be better off helping out with the family or the orphanages as opposed to adopting. In all honesty, how much time would she have to devote to these kids as she is very career driven.
    I don’t get the hype of these adoptions. Like buddy said above, it’s the same as the adopt a puppy from the 80’s. It’s the
    “flavor of the year”. It’s a shame they have to make themselves look like do-gooders to keep the media and public excited….how about genuinely being a do-gooder.
    And, on a final note, if the father doesn’t want Madonna to adopt his child, why doesn’t she simply adopt another? Respect his wishes. Not to sound cold, but there are a lot of them for her to chose from.

    I have to say, with the exception of the whole religion farce some of you all get on, this is probably the most adult conversation I’ve seen some of you have about the issue at hand. Good conversation, and a lot of different, but good, opinions.

  37. Nancy • May 3, 2009 @ 5:25 PM

    Well, I’d have to say that I half agree with lily’s May 3rd, 9:35 AM comment…Tributegirl does sound very educated. And then I TOTALLY agree with lily’s May 3rd 2:32 PM comment!!

    Now Anon/Gina…I can’t speak for everyone here, but I did not complain to Tribute about you. I’m assuming they know something that the rest of us posters here don’t…..have you been using other names again? Wouldn’t surprise me one bit! Then wonder WHY your comments “await moderation”!

  38. demigod • May 3, 2009 @ 6:32 PM

    Just a thought..why can’t Madonna just SPONSOR a whole village! Let’s face it, she has no time to be any kind of mother. If she can’t invest the time, she can invest the money.

  39. Anon • May 3, 2009 @ 6:47 PM

    demigod on May 3, 2009 6:32 PM

    Best suggestion here and right on the mark in regards to the lack of time and commitment.

    lily on May 3, 2009 2:32 PM

    I didn’t insult her….it was meant in a joking manner. I guess when things are just in black and white like this it’s hard to distinguish what is to be taken literally. Sorry, but I just can’t bring myself to start using smilies. I know its not a competition; there is no competition! So I guess you may have underestimated my smarts. lol 🙂 Better?


    No posting under anything but Anon. I don’t get why its still in moderation. Like Jo said, they let name calling through and my comments that are still not up were actually nice and very respectful. Then they let the religious comment go, completely backwards in my opinion. Go figure!

  40. Anon • May 3, 2009 @ 6:48 PM

    lily on May 2, 2009 2:42 PM

    Jo-Anne and Minerva are realists. There is an opportunity for this child to go somewhere in life that she will never have in a female suppressive society. Not only would Madonna be able to give her a future, Im sure she would ensure that this kid has a connection to her culture and extended family. I think you are romanticizing the situation with the talk about morals over money; in this situation you cant make that comparison. It makes no sense. Personally, I think she should give this opportunity to kids in her own community before going offshore. Or if she really wants to help those kids over there, sponsor a few and keep them with their families.

  41. Anon • May 3, 2009 @ 6:49 PM

    LOL I just copied and pasted my earlier comment and its awaiting moderation!

  42. tributegirl • May 3, 2009 @ 7:01 PM

    Hmm, that is weird. I know I haven’t complained about anyone.

    Thanks for the comment, lily, but I can get as down and dirty as the next person on here, but I have been trying a lot harder lately to not do that. And I feel much better for it.

    demigod, I think you have the best idea, she would do so much more for people if she did that, instead of taking one child and spoiling her rotten, she could help an entire village of people survive and prosper. Carol is right also, there are a lot of children there, why this child?

    But as far as being on a waiting list for adoption in the USA, a lot of people are now opting for open adoptions, so the birth mother can actually interview and choose who will raise her child, I’m sure there are a lot of people who are going to give their child up who would allow Madonna to adopt it.

  43. lily • May 3, 2009 @ 8:26 PM

    demigod, great idea!
    anon, I did misunderstand your tone and I’m sorry for that–those smileys actually do help me! As for the “underestimating”, guess I’ve gotta give you that one lol!

  44. BURNSY • May 3, 2009 @ 9:32 PM

    Madonna is all media driven,when it comes to
    this most recent adoption attempt.Why else
    would her staff notify the media of such a
    private and serious thing as adoption.What
    is so wrong adopting an American child ? I
    guess that would not garner as much world
    media attention as adopting an African child.
    All these so called celebrities like Jolie and
    Madonna are no where capable of raising as many children as they keep adding to.It’s a
    known fact that Nannies do most of the mother
    related duties for these women day to day.The
    kids may see them in between concerts and movie shoots for a brief period at best.I’ll
    bet we end up reading years from now about just how screwed and messed up these children
    end up.Adopt American needy children should
    have been the honest and sincere way to go,if
    there that concerned about child welfare issues.These are nothing more than ego driven
    media magnet photo shoots.What is wrong with
    our poor neglected American kids waiting for
    someone to adopt them.I thought that charity
    begins at home ? Isn’t Madonna American ?

  45. mandee • May 4, 2009 @ 1:23 AM

    thats a pretty terrible assumption, burnsy. i dont agree that angelina jolie is adopting kids just to be in the media. she does so many other wonderful charitable things with her money and her time, how can you basically insult her for wanting to help out needy kids? so what if she has even 500 kids, if she is paying a nanny to raise them they are still taken care of, and also angelina and brad are around often enough between the 2 of them to know if the nanny or nannies are mistreating these kids. it doesnt have to be that they want to be parents, as long as they set a good example and as long as someone who is capable is raising these kids, and they are fed and clothed who really cares? i do not think that madonna is setting a good example running around at her age half naked. now im sure people are going to jump in and yap about all the mistakes angelina made in her life, but she sure turned around pretty quick after she adopted her first baby. the past doesnt define you, its the way you continue to act through out your life. id say with all the good deeds angelina and brad have done over the years, adopting needy children should definitely not be criticized.

  46. Jo-Anne • May 4, 2009 @ 8:03 AM

    well, should James get his way and this adoption be halted, I guess we will all witness him become a “model dad” and all will be well for little Mercy…

  47. .. • May 8, 2009 @ 2:57 AM

    fer sher.

  48. SR • May 9, 2009 @ 3:46 AM

    Look at’er in that above pic with her legs spread wide open!!…Pffff, she’s a whore! Maybe if she would’ve cleaned up her act back in her 20’s, she wouldn’t be getting the flack she does now. What is she, almost like, 60 yrs old now?! Put it away already ‘ol lady, time to hang up those fish-net stockings and cone-bras!!!

  49. Jo-Anne • May 10, 2009 @ 7:44 AM

    wow, SR, 60 years old and with a body of a 20 year old….yeah, I can see why so many are so jealous of her appearance…

    to label her as such cuz of her sitting without crossed legs on stage…sad

    maybe all male/female “artists” who perform on the screen or on stage with limited degrees of clothing or have split with their partners or have been divorced or have dated much younger people or or or or or (endless list)…should be declared unfit parents? let’s see….how many thousands of artists we can come up with….

  50. .. • May 10, 2009 @ 12:36 PM

    u got it right SR xcept shes 50 not 60. maybe dude would prefer ifshe was totally naked?

Join The Conversation:

Trending Articles

Current Poll

  • Which returning TV show are you most looking forward to?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

You Might Also Like

Close Menu