Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

RIP Miriam Makeba

9 Comments

South African singer Miriam Makeba – the nightingale of Africa – died yesterday at a clinic in Italy, only hours after performing in her last concert. She was 76.

According to The Independent, she suffered a heart attack after a 30-minute performance against organised crime. Makeba was an outspoken critic against apartheid, and was involuntarily exiled for 30 years when the Nationalist government revoked her passport.

“One of the greatest songstresses of our time has ceased to sing,” Foreign Affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said in a statement.

“Throughout her life, Mama Makeba communicated a positive message to the world about the struggle of the people of South Africa and the certainty of victory over the dark forces of apartheid and colonialism through the art of song.”

Here is Mama Makeba singing Soweto Blues, written by her former husband Hugh Masekela:

Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

9 thoughts on “RIP Miriam Makeba

  1. I have just been watching the news and a very aged Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse eulogising Miriam Makeba. A stark reminder that we have a limited time on earth and we should make the most of it. I think Makeba certainly did, and through the sounds of Africa, highlight the bleak period of humanity. I think a fitting eulogy would be something similar to Susan B.Anthony’s,
    Liberty, Humanity, Justice, Equality

  2. For those of us who grew up in the sixties, Mother Makeba was the songstress who made us aware that South African apartied and American segregation were parts of the same struggle. On this day in 2008 we celebrate her life, her strength and the shoulders of the giants that we, including our president-elect, stand on.
    The richness of South African vocal harmony has burned deeply into our souls, thanks to Mother Makeba. Thank you for the bright moments.
    Your sun,
    Arnett

  3. South Africa has lost another jewel. Her music will live on in our hearts and souls.

  4. SABC radio had a moving tribute to her this morning. I didn’t realise how difficult it was for her being in exile for 30 years, living in many countries. She wasn’t even allowed home to bury her mother and then she lost her own daughter. An amazing woman with a wonderful voice . I don’t know her songs very well but two that I do know are Pata Pata and the Click song.

  5. How sad – hamba kahle, Miriam. Her click song is one of the most iconic pieces of music to come out of Africa and she was a tremendous ambassador for all that is good about South Africa.

  6. how sad. the world has lost much more than just her voice…

  7. The world is a poorer place! Luckily, I caught her in concert about five years ago – it was wonderful.

  8. It’s sad. She was a great woman from what I have heard and read

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