In an interview this morning on CBS' The Early Show, Malawi native James Kambewa is again voicing his opposition to pop superstar Madonna's efforts to adopt his three-year-old daughter, Chifundo "Mercy" James.
"I want to take care of her and I'm capable to take care of my baby," says Kambewa, who is only 15 himself. "Mercy, she is a Malawian - so [I] need her to grow as a Malawian, as well with our culture."
In the CBS interview, Kambewa is wearing a necklace he made bearing his daughter’s name but says has never held or even met her in person.
The little girl's birth mother died shortly after childbirth.
Madonna with daughter Lourdes (left), and aspiring daughter Mercy.
Lucy Chekechiwa, Mercy’s maternal grandmother, says she, too, was initially opposed to the adoption but eventually gave in. Madonna was negged in her efforts by the country's government, however, before filing an appeal.
“I did not want my granddaughter to be adopted,” Lucy says, “but because they have been persistent enough, I have been forced to let my granddaughter go."
Madonna will make her appeal before Malawi's Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo. In April, a judge rejected the 50-year-old superstar's adoption request because she doesn't meet the minimum 18-month residency requirement.
Here's hoping Jesus Luz will comfort her if she fails again.