South African legend Miriam Makeba, was born today, 4 March in in 1932. Today we honour the legacy of the legend that is Mama Afrika.
Amidst the Apartheid regime that she was so influential on, she rose up as the very first African artist to popularise African music in the US. It wasn’t long before her songs ‘Pata Pata’, ‘The Click Song’ and ‘Malaika’ not only became hits but also became deeply entrenched into South African and world music history. Grammy award, tour with Harry Belafonte and appearance on The Cosby Show; Makeba soon became a tour-de-force.
Channel O, Drum Magazine, – for which she posed for the iconic cover for – and Thandiswa Mazwai are just some of the many who took to Twitter to express their honour of the legend. Mazwai simply tweeted, ‘Happy mama Afrika day…’ and attached a picture of Makeba.
Google honoured Makeba in their own way by dedicating a Google Doodle to her.
Makeba would’ve been 81 today. We believe Mama Afrika is resting in the most perfect peace for as she once said, she would sing until she died. And so it was, on 9 November 2008, that after performing her hit song ‘Pata Pata’ in Caserta, Italy, Makeba suffered a heart attack.
We will never forget you, Miriam Makeba.