November 9th marks ten years since South African song writer, singer, civil rights activist, actress and movie Director Miriam Makeba quit the scene.
She died of a heart attack during a concert in Italy this day.
As part of activities to mark the tenth anniversary of her death , the Miriam Makeba Foundation is projecting the movie “Mama Africa” in Universities across South Africa.
The comemorative activities is an occasion to remember the legendary performer.
Her long-time friend, Dorothy Masuka, writes ” I really miss Miriam a great deal. If there’s anyone I miss most in this world , it’s my sister”.
Miriam Makeba: A life worth celebrating
Zenzi Miriam Makeba was born in Johannesburg on 4th March 1932 to Swazi and Xhosa parents.
She began singing as a child in a school choir. At 17, she had a brief marriage which ended with one child.
In 1950, Miriam went professional with three main genres on her list ; Afopop, Jazz, and world music.The performer later travelled to the United States of America and in 1960, was refused re-entry into South Africa. In 1961, she performed during John F. Kennedy’s birthday. Two years later, the South African government banned her records and revoked her passport.
Miriam lived in exile and won the “Grammy Awards” in 1965 with Pelafonte for ‘Best Folk Recording’ for their album “An evening with Pelafonte / Makeba”. The singer only returned to the country in 1990 after Mandela came back from exile.
Amongst are popular songs are ” Pata Pata”, ” The click song” and “Malaika”.Aside singing, Miriam acted and produced movies amongst which is ;
“Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom”, “Sarafina” , “Comeback Africa” and “Mama Africa”.
She ended her career with thirty original albums and 19 compilation albums.Miriam Makeba was a UN Goodwill ambassador and movie director.
Ten years after her death, many say the woman fondly called ” Mama Africa” remains one of the world’s most prominent black African twentieth century performer.
Kathy Neba Sina