Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Other Soldiers

Miriam Makeba has died this week after performing in an anti Mafia concert in Italy at the age of 76. (Just so you know it was a heart attack not a ‘hit’.)
She was an incredibly gifted singer crossing from Afro jazz and blues to folk and beyond. She is single handedly responsible for that bloody song ‘Maliaka’ but we forgive her that for all the other gorgeous stuff she did.
At my boarding schools I stockpiled tapes of her albums and compilations and still now when I hear ‘Pata Pata’ I get on my feet and dance.
There are many different ways to fight for your county and she was a soldier always. Although she was exiled from her South African home for 30 years she remained a voice in the wilderness and always fought for equality and humanity through her music.

NB: She and her then husband Hugh Masekela performed in ‘King Kong’ a superb musical (about a boxer not a gorilla) on Broadway in the late 50’s. If any of you can find a version you will not be disappointed!


tam said...

Yeah. Mama Afrika. It is sad and unreal to think she has gone, but she certainly had a rich and full life, and I'm sure a bloody difficult one too. Have you ever seen any of the footage of her as a feisty young activist artist? Doing interviews? She was so hot! In every sense of the word. Disruptive and clever and sexy and pure sizzle when she sang. They are bringing her body home to SA soil.

Janelle said...

ah yeah. we went to see her two years ago here in arusha,...she was 73 and gave an AMAZING concert...she transfixed us all and had such wise true funny things to say,...and oh how she sang. with all her heart. . . xxx janelle

Suzie said...

Ive never heard of her before. Ill try to take a listen