Monday, November 10, 2008

Death of a Musical Icon: Miriam Makeba (4 March 1932 - 9 November 2008)

I was shocked this morning to hear about the passing of Ms. Miriam Makeba. To me she represented all that was good about South African music and political activism. She was not only a musical icon for Africa but for the world. She collaborated with Harry Belafonte, was married to both Hugh Masekela and Stokely Carmichael at various points. Something I did not know was that she was a performer at the legendary Rumble in the Jungle bout and just seemed to fit right into musical history and the black consciousness movement. Having been banned by the Apartheid Regime in the 1960s, she was exiled from South Africa for many years and eventually made Guinea, West Africa her home. South African music is full of musical icons such as Brenda Fassie, Lucky Dube, Yvonne Chaka, Johnny Clegg, PJ Powers, Mahlatini and the Mahotella Queens, Ray Phiri, Lady Smith Black Mambazo, Arthur and Mandoza. But somehow Miriam Makeba just seemed to resonate more throughtout the world and dating back to the late 1950s. I will forever remember Miriam Makeba for Pata Pata, her version of Malaika and of course my personal favorite the Click Song. Miriam, Damrifa Due.

4 comments:

kwaito.co.uk said...

What a great loss for South African Music and African as a whole.

May she rest in peace.

Nana Yaw Asiedu said...

I feel this deeply too. Such a refined, outwardly happy, strong woman, fighting for justice in the world. Great loss. My shame (and happiness) is I never learned about her married life till she died. But I guess I have always concentrated on what she's done for the world and not failed (?) family life...whatever.

Abena said...

Indeed, a great loss for the world...
Nana Yaw; I guess the adversity she faced in her personal life is what made her stronger!

novisi said...

yeah,
and she shattered walls of apartheid with her voice in SA and the world...

she will be remembered and celebrated.