On the same day that a Malawian court will hear Madonna's appeal involving her rejected adoption of a 4-year-old Mercy James, a man believed to be the girl's father says he wants to raise her in her native land.
"I want to take care of her, and I'm capable of taking care of my baby," James Kambewa tells CBS's The Early Show in an interview set to air Monday, the same day the court will hear the pop singer's appeal of the failed adoption.
"Mercy, she is a Malawian, so I need her to grow as a Malawian ... with our culture," Kambewa said.
Joseph Chigona, Registrar of the High Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal, said the case will come before three judges from the Supreme Court of Appeal on Monday.
“As with all court cases involving infants, this one will be in chambers, not in an open court,” Chigona said. Madonna, 50, is not required to attend.
Kambewa tells The Early Show that he's never met his daughter and has only seen her "in newspapers and TV, not face to face."
Madonna spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg said the singer does not know if Kambewa is in fact the girl's father because the girl has lived in an orphanage all her life.
Malawi requires prospective parents to live in the country for 18 to 24 months while child welfare authorities assess their suitability — a rule that was not applied when Madonna was allowed to take her adopted son David to London in 2006. A decision on Madonna's appeal isn't expected for several days.
(Photo: Fame Pictures)