Watch your six, America, because Malawi is making a huge power play: This morning, the small African nation set the internet on fire by claiming Academy Award–winning actress Julia Roberts as their national treasure.
Though Roberts has no familial or professional ties to the largely agrarian country in southeast Africa, millions of Malawians are now celebrating the Pretty Woman star as one of their own, displaying her face on government websites, public buses, and their currency.
Malawi president Peter Mutharika and the official Malawi government took to Twitter earlier today to publicly praise the A-lister and everything she represents to the country’s 16 million citizens:
Malawi’s tourism board has even announced plans for a promotional campaign centered around Roberts, with ads in popular Western magazines featuring photos of Roberts alongside the slogans “Malawi: Where Greatness Begins” and “Julia Roberts: Malawi’s No. 1 Export.”
Whoa. Shots definitely fired. Malawi is really going for the jugular with this brazen attempt to claim Julia Roberts as their own. Does the U.S. have a response? Are we witnessing a feud in the making?
We can’t wait to see how this one plays out.