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Madonna: Name Has New Meaning in Malawi

November 2, 2006

NEW YORK (AP) _ Words that might describe Madonna: diva, maverick, humanitarian. But in a language spoken widely in the African country of Malawi, her name takes on a new _ and unintentionally funny _ meaning.

``People started to say my name and they had never heard of Madonna,″ the 48-year-old singer, talking about her recent visit to Malawi, told AP Television in an interview Tuesday.

``And, in Chichewa, the word `madonna’ means `distinguished white lady,′ so I think they got very confused.″

Madonna’s efforts to adopt a 13-month boy, David Banda, have set off a media storm. She and her husband, filmmaker Guy Ritchie, were granted an interim adoption order by Malawi’s High Court last month.

The boy has joined her two children _ daughter Lourdes, 9, and son Rocco, 6 _ in England. What is it like to have a little one again?

``It’s nice,″ she said. ``It’s lovely. It’s so great to hold him, you know, and he’s just starting to walk. And just to see that _ the whole world being new again _ and to see the world through his eyes is wonderful.″

Madonna has written a new children’s book, ``Too Good to Be True,″ and said she wants to direct a movie and has a project in mind. She also has an NBC concert special set to air Nov. 22.

When asked if she would retire to focus on her children full time, a smiling Madonna replied, ``No. I love my job.″


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