Monday, 10 November 2008

Goodbye Mama Africa...

Miriam Makeba died of a heart attack this morning, after a concert against organised crime in Italy, aged 76. A huge champion of the anti-apartheid fight, in 1960 after taking part in an anti-Apartheid documentary she tried to return to South Africa for her mothers funeral and found her passport had been revoked. She was exiled for 30 years. Much of the rest of the world embraced her (apart from when she married Stokely Carmichael and all of her American tours & record deals were cancelled) and Miriam traveled the world, singing beautiful freedom songs English and Xhosa, wearing gorgeous African garments and her hair in traditional styles. She was an inspiration to so many...many people might know her for her role in Sarafina! (1992), but I first encountered her on my parents' Graceland video from 1987 (we still have it somewhere). We used to march around the house with my father singing 'Bring back Nelson Mandela!', and would dance around to the all star line up of Paul Simon, Hugh Masekela, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Miriam Makeba...


Goodbye Mama Africa, you will be sorely missed.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my god. this made me sooooooo sad. I love this woman. I really do. Thanks for the tribute amelia.

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