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Madonna returns to Malawi, meets with new president

Madonna returns to Malawi after last year's fallout with president

It was a Malawi holiday for Madonna.

The music icon spent her Thanksgiving in the African nation from which her adopted children David Banda and Mercy James hail. There she promoted her charity Raising Malawi and met with the Malawian President Peter Mutharika.

On Thursday, the same day a snippet from her new track "Rebel Hearts" leaked online, the 56-year-old visited an orphanage as well as the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre to help launch the Ministry of Health's construction of a 50-bed pediatric surgery and intensive care unit, the Associated Press reported. She also chronicled the trip on Instagram.

"My Hero Prof.Borgstien-he's A Boss! Saving lives everyday at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. #raisingmalawi #livingforlove," she captioned a pic of herself with the doctor who helped with the project. "Happy Thanksgiving from Malawi! #livingforlove," she added.

The Material Girl has been working in the southeast African nation with her nonprofit since 2006, when she adopted son David Banda. She adopted daughter Mercy James in 2009.

Madonna has worked with local orphanages, schools and medical facilities during her tenure, and Mutharika restored the singer's VVIP ("very, very important person") status in Malawi after it was stripped away last year by then-President Joyce Banda.

Banda's "demotion" of the singer forced Madonna to have to check in for a flight on her private jet, as would an ordinary passenger, the AP said. The fallout reportedly came after the Grammy winner canceled the construction of a $15-million academy amid allegations of mismanagement, according to wire reports.

On Friday, the singer saluted officials at State House in Lillongwe. Mutharika, the opposition candidate voted in in May, thanked her for agreeing to fund the construction of the state-of-the-art medical units.

Mutharika's spokesman said that the country appreciates the singer's philanthropic work and, during their discussion, "Madonna displayed much commitment in helping to build more classrooms in schools across Malawi."

Follow me on Twitter @NardineSaad.

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