Alicia Keys has had her unborn child blessed in a traditional Zulu ceremony while in South Africa for the World Cup. The Grammy award-winning singer, who is around five months pregnant, joined hands with music producer fiance Swizz Beatz for the outdoor blessing near Durban, on the country's eastern coast. Wearing tribal beads, Alicia and her baby were given Zulu names while standing under a fig tree known as the 'healing tree' by locals who believe it brings good fortune and health.
The star, 29, had the ritual performed by female elders on Wednesday after arriving in South Africa the previous week to headline the World Cup Kick-Off Concert in Johannesburg.The R&B diva was given a blue robe to cover her shoulders, while Swizz, 31, donned a red sarong and leopard print sash. Alicia was chosen to receive the blessing in return for her work with local children's charity Bobbi Bear, whose workers are paid by the singer. Bobbi Bear director Jackie Bradfield said yesterday: 'Alicia has been made part of the tribal family because she really reached out to the people here.
'Two female priests who practise a mix of Christianity and tribal custom chose new names for her and the unborn child, as a mark of respect. The names were kept between them, but were chosen to reflect Alicia's character.'Alicia had to do a special dance with drums banging in the background, and was embraced by abused children who she has helped. She was chosen for the ceremony as a thank-you, because she has done a lot to keep children's lives afloat and for us to afford our support staff.
'Her partner came too - he held her hand and helped her sit down when she needed rest.' Alicia's mother and brother were among a crowd of around 50 people who watched her by the tree where Bobbi Bear runs a weekly HIV clinic.