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: