2015 was big year for Yvonne Chaka Chaka and the Princess of Africa Foundation; South Africa celebrated 21 years of democracy, Yvonne celebrated 50 years of life, 30 years in the music industry, and marked 10 years working on development issues with the United Nations, as a Goodwill Ambassador for the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership and UNICEF.
Following a week of celebrations in honour of her 50th birthday and 30 years in the music industry, the RBM Partnership and UNICEF hosted a press conference to highlight Yvonne’s dedication to Maternal Child and Newborn Health. During her 10 years a Goodwill Ambassador malaria rates have decreased by 55% in Africa. H.R.H. Princess Astrid of Belgium, Special Representative of the RBM Partnership, also sent her congratulations in a written message. Several more world leaders shared messages of gratitude and acknowledgements that were presented during the press briefing. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, surprised Yvonne and those that had gathered with a video message that thanked Yvonne for her “enormous contributions to the United Nations and our world.” He continued: “…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.”
Awards and Honors
- Ubuntu Award,RSA, 2015 – The South African Foreign Affairs Ministry recognised Yvonne for her distinguished service and contribution to Music and Humanitarian work across the African Continent and for bringing honour to South Africa as a Goodwill Ambassador.
- Trailblazer Award 2015, Indiana, Indianapolis, USA- Saving Orphans through Healthcare and Outreach (SOHO) The Award acknowledged Yvonne’s contribution to fighting for the human rights of orphans and vulnerable children and empowerment of women.
- Legendary Award 2015 – AFRIMMA, Dallas, Texas, US – The award acknowledged the contribution made by Yvonne Chaka Chaka in improving the lives of many Africans through her music. The AFRIMMA is an effort to recognize, promote, award and preserve, Africa’s rich music culture.
- Mbokodo Awards, RSA– Arts Ambassador 2015
These Awards celebrate and acknowledge women who have not only articulated the aspirations of the South African people but have also fortified democracy by empowering communities and individuals through their art. This award recognises Yvonne’s efforts to empower communities using her art.
Key Highlights and Important Events in 2015
- The Princess of Africa Foundation hosted a global first, an awards event for “Backing Vocalists and Session Musicians” (BVSM). These awards identify and recognise Backing and Session Musicians for their contribution towards the development of music in South Africa, as we note that they’re the only two groups of Musicians that are currently not being recognised globally!
- The Foundation participated in several panel sessions of the UN’s Third Financing for Development conference FfD; where world leaders looked for ways to pay for the implementation of the ambitious sustainable development goals (SDGs), which include ending poverty and achieving food security in every corner of the globe by 2030.
- POAF was actively engaged during the historic adoption of the new Sustainable Development Goals at Seventieth Session of the United Nations General Assembly UNGA, to end poverty by 2030 and pursue a sustainable future. Building on the United Nations widely successful 8 Millennium Development Goals that have improved the lives of millions of people. At UNGA Yvonne’s messages focused on a call to action for greater political and financial commitment from Donors as well as an increase in domestic resource mobilisation in implementing countries. She also stressed the need for equity, social Justice and the critical importance of reaching the poorest.
- POAF contributed to 46th Union World Conference on Lung Health the premiere global conference for researchers, health programme managers, policy experts, advocates and other leaders working to address tuberculosis and other lung diseases in Cape Town in December 2015.Chaka Chaka President of the POAF spoke at the Closing Ceremony calling for the voice of people living with and affected by TB to be heard In her speech, she challenged the authorities to work together to ensure we End TB by 2030. Yvonne spoke and sang at the MP Cocktail reception hosted by ACTION to encourage MPs to translate their commitments into action and to oversee their budgets allocations to ensure sufficient funding for TB. She also dedicated the TB Alliance Mural (after adding her finishing touches) to the more than 1 million children affected by TB and the needless deaths of about 400 each year.
- In early October Yvonne joined a panel discussion at the South African launch of the GNR Global Nutrition Report. During the panel discussion Yvonne concentrated on discussing the value and importance of nutrition as the basis for a Healthy life and for achieving the SDGs. At the New York GNR launch during UNGA Yvonne called on World leaders to increase funding for Nutrition at the Rio 2016 summit.
- Yvonne accepted an invitation from the Royal Palace in Stockholm to contribute to the Global Child Forum. The Foundations key message focused on the need to make Child Health and Education a priority and a major component for achieving the SDGs. She emphasised the need for local ownership of these issues in Africa and the need for domestic resource mobilisation by African leaders.