She's the latter, according to Malawi's Education Minister Eunice Kazembe. Kazembe says that Madonna claims she built ten schools for the children of Malawi, when the actual number of schools built by Madonna was zero schools. I don't completely understand why our gal Madge—who is clearly dedicated to philanthropy (you can tell because she never stops yelling about it) and has eleventy bazillion extra dollars cluttering up the den (you can tell because it's Madonna)—would bother lying about building schools instead of just, you know, building schools. But, that said, last year the government of Malawi accused Madonna of "being more concerned with her 'propping up her global image' than bettering the impoverished African nation." This, it must be said, is a tasty burn indeed. So, who knows.
"The schools Raising Malawi claims to have constructed were already in existence," Kazembe said Thursday. "Raising Malawi only built 10 classroom blocks and not schools. People should know the difference between the two."
But officials from Raising Malawi told The Huffington Post exclusively that Kazembe's statements are unmerited, saying they are "shocked" by Kazembe's comments.
Meanwhile, an insider says the whole thing is the result of bureaucratic infighting and Madonna's getting the shaft:
A source close to the situation, who asked to remain anonymous while still working with the Malawi government, said he believes that Kazembe's statements came as a result of the recent appointment of Malawi President Joyce Banda's sister, Anjimile Oponyo. She now serves as the principal secretary for the Ministry of Education but previously worked with Madonna as CEO and head of the state-of-the-art girls' school the singer was commissioning in Malwai. The school was allegedly never built because of what a report from the affiliated Global Philanthropy Group — a company that works with organizations to "implement highly-leveraged philanthropic strategies" — said were Oponyo's "weak management skills." She was thusly fired from the project. Oponyo's dismissal is what the source believes may have played a role in Kazembe's recent statements about Madonna inflating the success of her latest projects.
To the children of Malawi: as soon as these women stop yelling at each other, I hope you receive hella schools. [HuffPo]
Here's Nigella Lawson being super fucking adorable about refusing to have her [totally conventionally attractive and relatively thin] midsection airbrushed on a billboard:
"Although it was very thrilling to think of being up on a billboard in LA and around the States," she says on her website, "I was very strict and English and told them they weren't allowed to airbrush my tummy out. Wise? Hmmm. But that tum is the truth and is come by honestly, as my granny would have said."
OOPS, I STOLE THIS NOBEL PRIZE AND GAVE IT TO YOUR GRANNY. [ContactMusic]
Robert F. Chew, who played Prop Joe on The Wire, has died of heart failure at age 52.
"I didn't want to believe this #RIP Robert F Chew," The Wire's Jamie Hector wrote on Twitter. "Prop Joe will always be remembered Robert Chew will always be loved and missed!"
The show's creator, David Simon, sent a lengthy email to The Baltimore Sun praising Chew's work as an actor and his dedication to his community.
"Robert was not only an exceptional actor, he was an essential part of the film and theater community in Baltimore," wrote David Simon. "He could have gone to New York or Los Angeles and commanded a lot more work, but he loved the city as his home and chose to remain here working."
Chew, a member of the local Arena Players theater troupe, mentored children and aspiring actors, and even facilitated bringing a group of 22 young actors to play students on The Wire's fourth season.
Condolences to his friends and family. [People]
Stephen Colbert's sister, Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, is planning a run for Congress in South Carolina.
Colbert-Busch, a mother of three, works as the director of sales and marketing for Clemson University's Wind Turbine Drivetrain Testing Facility. This will be her first campaign for public office.
Should she win her primary on March 19, her potential rival on the Republican side could end up being former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford, who resigned abruptly in 2011 in the wake of an extramarital affair.
You can vote for her if you want. [HuffPo]
- Bruce Willis says that old Bruce Willis is "more tranquil" than young Bruce Willis. [ShowbizSpy]
- Robert Wagner is refusing to talk to the cops regarding the re-opened investigation of Natalie Wood's death. [Radar]
- Here's how to make the kind of complicated grilled cheese sandwich that celebrities eat. [People]
- Ashlee Simpson, apparently, has a "bat for a heart" and FOR GOD'S SAKE GO TO THE DOCTOR. [E!]
- Quentin Tarantino, quit making it so complicated and confusing to defend you. [MSR]
- Semi-related: The Weinstein Company has decided to pull its controversial line of Django Unchained action figures, explaining that "it was never [their] intent to offend anyone." Oh, okay. Sooooooo...if you were lucky enough to get your hands on a complete set of Rape Slave Barbie and Murder Plantation Ken and Anti-Racist Vigilante Skipper, you can now sell them for thousands of dollars on eBay. Congrats? [Deadline]
- Tom Arnold is having a baby. [People]
- Jennifer Hudson and Alicia Keys both wore weird leather shirts on the same day. [E!]
- Carrie Underwood would like you to stop calling her husband "Mr. Underwood," because it's disrespectful. I assume she's similarly outraged by every single married woman who's ever taken her husband's name. [Us]
- Jennifer Lopez denies hating this super bizarre People Magazine cover photo. (Who SITS LIKE THAT!?) "Look at the pictures and read the story!" says Lopez's manager Benny Medina. "We worked closely with the editors of People and we are very pleased with the cover photo and the results all around." Suuuuuuuure. [E!]
- Taylor Swift would like you to know that she and Michael J. Fox "are good." [E!]
Chase your dreams, little unicorns.