South African seasoned singer, Yvonne Chaka Chaka set a new record when she became the first African woman to receive the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Crystal Award for artists who improve the world through their work, the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The 47 year old Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations' Roll Back Malaria Partnership, who became the first Black child to appear on South African television was presented the award during the opening ceremony of the forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
According to Hilde Schwab, co-founder of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, "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, Yvonne has clearly understood her opportunities to do good and the access her powerful voice allows, through both song and conversation, to reach and influence those who can act," she said.
In her acceptance speech, which was posted on her website, she said that "We here in this room are the global political and business elite and we have the power, the money and the knowledge to ensure that all people have access to prevention and treatment services to lead productive lives. We know what works, now we need to make it happen."
From Dobsonville, south-west of Johannesburg, Chaka Chaka has produced over 20 albums, with hits such as "Umqombothi", and "Thank You Mr DJ", and was recently in a documentary film, "A Motherland Tour – A Journey of African Women".