South African businesswoman, singer and humanitarian Yvonne Chaka Chaka has been roundly acclaimed after making history at the World Economic Forum gathering in Davos by becoming the first African women to scoop the WEF’s Crystal Award.
Chaka Chaka, who is also a UNICEF and Roll Back Malaria Ambassador and the founder of the Princess of Africa Foundation, received the award in Switzerland in late January. The award is bestowed annually to artists who have made a positive impact on the world. Chaka Chaka was acclaimed for her work promoting health issues impacting on women and children, with particular reference to her work to control and prevent malaria.
Speaking at the presentation of the award, Hilde Schwab, Co-Founder of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, said: “For many years Yvonne has used her voice to draw attention to the causes that will change the lives of millions — from ending apartheid to improving maternal and child health. Yvonne has clearly understood her opportunities to do good and the access her powerful voice allows, through both song and conversation, to reach and influence those who can act.”
Previous winners of the Crystal Award include French-American cellist Yo-Yo Ma, Indian musician AR Rahman, Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour and American producer, composer and musician, Quincy Jones.
Speaking to The Times upon her return to South Africa, Chaka Chaka said: “I never thought that I would be nominated, or even win this, so it’s been a great pleasure to know that someone is watching (my efforts). I’m thankful South Africa can see the work that I’ve been doing.”
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