Yvonne Chaka Chaka becomes first African woman to receive WEF’s Crystal Award

Yvonne Ntombizodwa Chaka Chaka sings during the Crystal Award Ceremony at the Opening of the WEF Annual Meeting. Photo credit: WEF

South African singer Yvonne Ntombizodwa Chaka Chaka has received the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Crystal Award, making her the first African woman to receive the prize.

The award, given each year to artistes who have used their art to improve the state of the world, was presented to the singer by Hilde Schwab, co-founder of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs during the opening ceremony of the WEF’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 25, 2012.

“For many years, Yvonne has used her voice to draw attention to the causes that will change the lives of millions, from ending apartheid to improving maternal and child health,” Schwab said in a statement.

Meanwhile, South African President Jacob Zuma has congratulated Ms Yvonne Chaka Chaka who is also the Roll Back Malaria Partnership Goodwill Ambassador of the award.

“In many respects, Yvonne Chaka Chaka has been a true ambassador of our country, its culture and people. We applaud the wonderful work she does promoting quality health care and other social development issues in the continent. We are immensely proud that the World Economic Forum has today recognised her in this way,” said President Zuma, according to a statement from the South African presidency.

Actors Richard Gere, Michael Douglas and Emma Thompson, Chinese-American cellist Yo Yo Ma, Opera singer José Carreras, composer and musician Quincy Jones, and singer Youssou N’Dour have all been recipients of the crystal award.

By Ekow Quandzie

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