Madonna moved to tears by case of child rape in Kenya

Wed Jul 6, 2016 1:13am EDT
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By Neha Wadekar

NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Pop star Madonna was reduced to tears during a trip to Kenya as she listened to a man describe how his five-year-old daughter had been recently raped by a neighbor in Nairobi's Kibera slum.

The U.S. singer met the man during a visit to Kibera, one of Africa's biggest slums, on Saturday and Sunday. She had gone there to see how she could improve the lives of its residents, a spokesman said.

"This was an incredibly powerful and disturbing conversation about the realities of violence in these people's lives," said Trevor Neilson, who manages Madonna's Raising Malawi and Ray of Light foundations, and accompanied her on the trip.

"These stories brought Madonna to tears," Neilson told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The "Material Girl" singer, who took her four children to the east African country, posted a video on Instagram showing them cleaning streets, clearing gutters and painting murals.

Madonna also met Kenya's First Lady Margaret Kenyatta on Monday to discuss working with her charity to scale up maternal and child health programs and initiatives against gender violence.

Kenyatta's charity Beyond Zero, which provides mobile clinics offering basic health services to Kenyans in remote areas, recently introduced safe spaces for victims to report gender based violence.

"Her (Madonna's) basic belief is that no child, no woman should be attacked anywhere. Period," Neilson said.   Continued...

Singer-songwriter Madonna Ciccone (L) poses for a photograph with Kenyan First Lady Margaret Kenyatta as she receives a "Beyond Zero" campaign technical report at State House in Nairobi, Kenya, July 4, 2016. REUTERS/Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS