South African music icon Yvonne Chaka Chaka, fondly known as the ‘Princess of Africa’, visited the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Health Sciences at the Prinshof Campus recently, in her capacity as New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) Goodwill Ambassador for TB and nutrition.
Ms Chaka Chaka is a role model in Africa as a champion of women’s and children’s rights, and a supporter of universal literacy. In 2005, this humanitarian was appointed a UNICEF Special Ambassador on Malaria for Eastern and Southern Africa. She has spent much time promoting the work of agencies trying to combat malaria in the region.
Ms Chaka Chaka visited the Faculty of Health Sciences’ skills lab and was given an overall tour of the campus, much to the delight of cheering students and staff. She also met with representatives of the UP Institute for Sustainable Malaria Control (UP ISMC). Dr Taneshka Kruger, UP ISMC Project Manager and Coordinator, did a presentation on the Institute and its malaria research, awareness creation and communication methods. In addition, 12 postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows briefly introduced their research projects.
The Institute uses various innovative and modern technological tools, including social media, an informative book about malaria for young children (Sibo Fights Malaria), a mobile app developed with travel management company Travel With Flair (Malaria Buddy), and music or songs to communicate its research and raise awareness about malaria. Recently the Institute did a flash mob recording at the 4th South African Malaria Research Conference.
Ms Chaka Chaka expressed great interest in the work being done on malaria at UP, and has already indicated that she would love to collaborate with the UP ISMC on some of its awareness strategies. She also plans to approach the Institute when she requires advisors on her ambassadorial travels.
After her tour of the campus, Ms Chaka Chaka shared her mantra with staff, colleagues and fans:
“There is no wealth without health and education.” – Ms Chaka Chaka
Source: University of Pretoria