Miriam Makeba – South Africa (1932 – 2008)

Added November 10, 2008: Miriam Makeba dies (1932 – 2008).

Linked with Miriam Makeba, South Africa dies (1932 – 2008).


Miriam Makeba (b. March 4, 1932) is a Grammy Award-winning South African singer, also known as Mama Afrika. Miriam Zenzi Makeba was born in Johannesburg in 1932. Her mother was a Swazi sangoma and her father, who died when she was six, was a Xhosa. As a child, she sang at the Kilmerton Training Institute in Pretoria, which she attended for eight years … Her marriage to Trinidadian civil rights activist and Black Panthers leader Stokely Carmichael in 1968 caused controversy in the United States, and her record deals and tours were cancelled. As a result of this, the couple moved to Guinea, where they became close with President Ahmed Sékou Touré and his wife … In 2002, she shared the Polar Music Prize with Sofia Gubaidulina. In 2004, Makeba was voted 38th in the Top 100 Great South Africans. Makeba started a worldwide farewell tour in 2005, holding concerts in all of those countries that she had visited during her working life. She is still touring as of May 2008 … (full long text).

Listen to: Pata Pata, 3.03 min; Paul Simon & Miriam Makeba, 4.03 min; The Click Song 1966, 2 min; N’Kosi Sikeleli Africa, 6.53 min; Amampondo, 5.40 min; Soweto Blues, 5.23 min.


Miriam Makeba – South Africa (1932 – 2008)

Miriam Makeba: A True South African musical legend.

Find her profile on Al-Ahram: After Cairo — this recent visit was her first — she returns to South Africa to make final preparations for a tour of the US which kicks off in Boston on 1 November. The tour will also take her to San Francisco, New Orleans, New York and Washington, where, at the invitation of the wives of the Arab ambassadors, she is to sing in honour of Mandela at the Kennedy Centre together with her old friend Belafonte. Thus will all the strands of her life — all the people Miriam Makeba has been, all the places she has seen, and all the causes for which she has raised her voice — come together at last … (full long text).

Her unofficial website, with: Photo Gallery; her story in german, in english; on records; honours and awards; appearances in movies and on TV.

She says: … “At the end of one show, two men come to see me. I can tell right away by their Dutch looks, and by the way they look at me as if they own me, that they are Afrikaners. The two men from South Africa do not seem happy. One of them says:
- We came here because we thought we’d hear music from home. Why don’t you sing any lietjies? A lietjie is a white folk tune in Afrikaans. I could say to these men that I do not know Afrikaans. That would not be unusual for a native. But, as I say, I am getting a little bit bolder. – When you start singing in my language, I tell them, I will start singing in yours” … (full text).

Mama Africa meets the kwaito generation.

… Dludlu worked with various bands in the mid-1980s and as a session musician in Johannesburg in 1990. He was a founder member of Loading Zone, which was popular across the country, backing top acts including Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba and Brenda Fassie. He went on to enrol in a jazz programme at the University of Cape Town … (full text, Sept. 1, 2008).

Shanto competition fell short.

… Yet the story of South African women in film begins with the appearance of Miriam Makeba as the country’s first celluloid shebeen queen in Lionel Rogosin’s docu­drama Come Back Africa (1959). While Makeba played a singing underdog in the ramshackle apartheid world of Sophiatown, it was precisely this film that acted as a springboard for world fame. When the Italian government invited her to the premiere of the movie at the Venice Film Festival she took the break, not to return until the old order had collapsed. And so a legend was born … (full text, Aug 8, 2008).

The Pre-Rumble in the Jungle, September 3, 2008.

… That year an American film director, Lionel Togosin, made a documentary film from South Africa on which Miriam Makeba collaborated, and wanted her to present the film at the Venice Festival. Makeba accepted the job and got into hot water with the South African authorities that railed against the negative attention they received through the presentation of the film. While in Italy, Miriam Makeba decided not to return to South Africa where she got little or nothing in terms of payment for her performances. This resulted in the South African government revoking her passport and denying her the possibility of ever returning to her homeland. Miriam took up refuge in London after the festival and met Harry Belafonte, who helped her to emigrate to the USA. There she built up her career again. She was the first black musician to leave South Africa on account of apartheid, and over the years many others would follow her example … (full long text).

Gramadoelas endures, deliciously, Aug 27, 2008.

Following a three decade long exile, Miriam Makeba’s return to South Africa was celebrated as though a queen was restoring her monarchy. The response was fitting as Makeba remains the most important female vocalist to emerge out of South Africa. Hailed as The Empress Of African Song and Mama Africa, Makeba helped bring African music to a global audience in the 1960s. Nearly five decades after her debut with the Manhattan Brothers, she continues to play an important role in the growth of African music … (full text).

The 10 best outdoor summer concerts.

… In 1963 she testified about apartheid before the United Nations, as a result the South African government revoked her citizship and right of return. She stayed in the U.S. and married Stokely Carmichael, a Black Panther leader. That began her exile from her South African homeland. After harassment by U.S. authorities she fled to exile in Guinea. Makeba returned to world prominence when she performed with Paul Simon on the Graceland tour. Finally in the late 1980’s she returned to her homeland as a free South African. (full text).

Find her and her discography on Ake Holm; on wikipedia; on IMDb; on discogs; on The Leopard Man’s African Music Guide; on amazon; on artist direct; on last.fm; on Google Video-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Blog-search.

Celebrated jazz musician Jimmy Dludlu takes to the stage in the Imbizo Room at Sibaya Casino & Entertainment Kingdom on Tuesday, September 23 at 6pm. Jimmy Dludlu’s style includes wide-ranging influences, combining both traditional and modern elements of jazz drawn from among others Wes Montgomery, George Benson and Pat Metheny, to South African legends Miriam Makeba, Letta Mbulu, Hugh Masekela, Themba Mokwena, and Allen Kwela. He is particularly drawn to the sounds of west- and central Africa, as well as Latin America, but says jazz remains his first love. His numerous original compositions fall within the tradition of what has been loosely termed Afro-Jazz … (full text, Sept. 23, 2008).


Culture of South Africa,

Global Mojo.com;

Global Village Idiot;

Still time to sign up for City2City, Sept 3, 2008;

A brotherhood of rhyme, Sept 3, 2008;

From O-Scene: Hugh Masekela, July 29, 2008;

8 notes avec le tag “kenya”;

the blog: The Thrifty Digger;

Categories on wikipedia: The Xhosa people; Living people; Grammy Award winners; South African musiciansSouth African female singers; Musicians.

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