Perhaps a rich and famous continent will adopt Africa. Yes, its family will miss it, but at least it will be well taken care of, receive an education and healthcare, and grow up to be whatever it wants to be.
Yes, the above scenario is flippant, but the heartbreaking tale of little David Banda, the 13-month-old Malawian boy adopted by Madonna and her family, leads logically to this conclusion: between abject poverty and pandemic disease, particularly AIDS, there may be no other way out for the Cradle of Mankind. Maybe Africa needs to get out of Africa.
The boy — who arrived at Madonna's central London mansion on Tuesday amid press frenzy, feverish activity to block his "streamlined" adoption process back in Malawi, and with the judgment of onlookers around the globe pressing upon his tiny shoulders — will live a life of opportunity and freedom from want that his relatives — most heartbreakingly his father and grandmother — and the vast majority of his countrymen can scarcely dream of.
While today a Malawian court deferred for a week a lawsuit by the Human Rights Consultative Committee, a coalition of 67 local rights groups opposed to the adoption on the grounds that "laws were flouted and the government may set a precedent that can legalize human trafficking," an empathetic story in The Guardian helps put things in perspective.
The vehemence of the criticism she has received has clearly caught the 48-year-old diva — normally a master of PR manipulation — off guard. "I know they are provocative and I prepare myself but I did not expect the media, the government or any human rights organizations to take a stand against me trying to save a child's life," she confessed to People magazine.
Those closest to David would appear to agree. Not only did the boy's father, Yohane Banda, 32, an uneducated tomato and onion subsistence farmer, lose his wife Marita, 28, six days after David was born, but the couple's first son, Garnet, died of malaria aged two years and eight months, and the second, Babel, died of an "undetermined illness" at 18 months.