Miriam Makeba, South Africa dies (1932 – 2008)

Linked with Miriam Makeba – South Africa.

… “One of the greatest songstresses of our time Miriam Makeba has ceased to sing,” said South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma in a statement. The singer “died performing what she did best – an ability to, communicate a positive message through the art of singing”.

Born in Johannesburg on March 4, 1932, Makeba became one of Africa’s best known singers and while Nelson Mandela was in prison took up the battle against apartheid through her music. South Africa revoked her citizenship in 1960 and even refused to let her return for her mother’s funeral. Makeba spent more than three decades in exile, living in the United States, Guinea and Europe.

She saw her music outlawed in her homeland after she appeared in an anti-apartheid film. But she was an international success, winning a Grammy award for Best Folk Recording with US singer Harry Belafonte in 1965 for the album “An Evening With Belafonte/Makeba”. “I kept my culture. I kept the music of my roots,” she said in her biography. “Through my music I became this voice and image of Africa, and the people, without even realising” … (full text).

… legendary South African singer known affectionately as “Mama Africa,” died Sunday during a benefit concert in Italy. According to Agence France-Presse, the 76-year-old singer was performing for a crowd of around 1,000 for a half hour before collapsing on stage … (full text);

… She fell ill after having sung for half an hour in support of Roberto Saviano, a writer threatened with death by the Mafia, at Castel Volturno, near Naples. She was taken to a nearby clinic where she died of a heart attack … (full text);

Mama Africa dies as she lives: lilting against tyranny.

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