Malaika Ambassador Eve Jeffers-Cooper named President of the 2023 Cohort of Malaika Students

Hip-hop star and actress Eve Jeffers-Cooper, a longstanding Malaika Goodwill Ambassador, was this summer named the President of the First Cohort of Malaika Students. Eve attended Malaika’s 2023 graduation ceremony, which took place in Kalebuka in July 2023, as the ceremony’s guest of honor, delivering a speech to all attendees and the class of ‘23 graduates. 

Eve was named Goodwill Ambassador in 2016 following her visit to the Malaika School with Founder & CEO Noella Coursaris Musunka to inaugurate the very first library on International Women’s Day. 

The award-winning musician and actress was the very first winner of the Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration in 2002 for the song “Let Me Blow Ya Mind”. In 2002 her album Scorpion was also nominated for Best Rap Album. In 1999, she released her debut album, Let There Be Eve…Ruff Ryders’ First Lady, which reached number one on the Billboard 200, making her the third female rapper to accomplish this feat. As an actress, she starred as Terri Jones in the Barbershop films, among others. 

“Coming together as one big Maliaka family this summer means so much as we celebrate the past 12 years of education for these 17 girls and set them off on their next chapter. Malaika is rewriting the narrative for girls and their families, and I couldn’t be prouder to be part of the Malaika family,” commented Eve. 

A role model for young girls, Eve plays a crucial role in advocating for Malaika’s mission and inspiring the students.

Malaika’s staff consists of individuals who are passionate about education and about teaching and supporting the next group of leaders emerging from our student body. Therese Mabaka Angelani, kindergarten teacher, has been working for 10 years at Malaika, ever since the school opened its doors.⠀

“It is really great to see a school that emerges day to day, year by year, in which children who come in without a notion of education go out with an impressive intellectual, moral and physical training. My dream is to see some of the girls continuing the work that Malaika does by giving back to their communities and leading the school so that other children will be able to benefit from this education.”

BAFTA winning actress Thandie Newton is a proud Malaika supporter and our girls were so excited when she posted about the first day of classes on her Instagram account! Read her moving post below and on her page Thank you for your encouragement, Thandie!

Look at these gorgeous girls. First day back at school. And all possible through the incredible hard work and tenacity of @noellacoursaris. Her ambition to help girls in her birthplace of Congo is a thriving reality @malaikadrc. These girls are the future because Congo is the centre of the world – literally. It is rich and fertile with resources that the West hunger after like vampires. It’s been called the worst place in the world to be a woman because of human rights catastrophes that are unleashed by warring over illegal export of those same minerals. Rape is a weapon of those wars. So these girls, and their radiance, are humbling to say the very least. We can help them, and help the beating heart of our beautiful world. They’re our flesh and blood. x Thandie