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Miriam Makeba, 76, "Mama Afrika"

Obituaries Miriam Makeba "Mama Afrika" Singer 2008

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#1 Nonny

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 10:04 AM

South African singer Miriam Makeba dies in Italy

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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa Miriam Makeba, the South African singer who wooed the world with her sultry voice but was banned from her own country for 30 years under apartheid, died early Monday after a concert in Italy. She was 76.

The Pineta Grande Clinic, a private clinic near the southern city of Naples, said the singer died after being brought there. The ANSA news agency reported that Makeba apparently suffered a heart attack after performing for 30 minutes at a concert against organized crime.

The death of "Mama Afrika," as she was known, plunged South Africa into shock and mourning.

"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."

Makeba wrote in her 1987 memoirs that friends and relatives who first encouraged her to perform compared her voice to that of a nightingale. With her distinctive style combining jazz with folk with South African township rhythms, she was often called "The Empress of African Song."

She first started singing in Sophiatown, a cosmopolitan neighborhood of Johannesburg that was a cultural hotspot in the 1950s before its black residents were forcibly removed by the apartheid government.

She then teamed up with South African jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela -- later her first husband -- and her rise to international prominence started when she starred in the anti-apartheid documentary "Come Back, Africa" in 1959.

When she tried to fly home for her mother's funeral the following year, she discovered her passport had been revoked. It was 30 years before she was allowed to return.

In 1963, Makeba appeared before the U.N. Special Committee on Apartheid to call for an international boycott of South Africa. The South African government responded by banning her records, including hits like "Pata Pata," "The Click Song" ("Qongqothwane" in Xhosa), and "Malaika."

Makeba received the Grammy Award for Best Folk Recording in 1966 together with Harry Belafonte for "An Evening With Belafonte/Makeba." The album dealt with the political plight of black South Africans under apartheid....
I still get up and do a few dance moves, or do them sitting, when I hear Pata Pata, and I love her singing.  I will miss her.  

Rest in peace in the choir of angels.
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The once and future Nonny

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

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Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

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#2 Nonny

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 10:12 AM

Here's a link to the excellent NPR story about her. Click on Listen Now.
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The once and future Nonny

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

#3 Kosh

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 10:52 AM

RIP


I heard this on the radio this morning. Too bad she's not better known, she's done an awful lot.
Can't Touch This!!

#4 QueenTiye

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 03:17 PM

OH!  I loved her.  What an amazing woman!  God speed your journey, Miriam Makeba!

QT

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#5 Nonny

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 12:01 PM

Hundreds bid farewell to Makeba

Quote

Large crowds have flocked to a memorial service in Johannesburg for South African singer Miriam Makeba, who died last weekend after a concert in Italy.

Musicians, poets and politicians paid tribute to the 76-year-old performer.

Arts minister Pallo Jordan described Makeba as "a woman whose name became synonymous with the worldwide struggle for freedom in South Africa".

Her family also attended the service at the Coca Cola Dome concert venue, which followed two days of national mourning.

They are expected to hold a smaller service for her cremation on Sunday.

The singer, who was known as Mama Africa, spent more than 30 years in exile after lending her support to the campaign against apartheid.

Her memorial service drew hundreds of mourners, both black and white and of all ages.

South African trumpet player Hugh Masekela, once married to Makeba, performed a solo version of her song Welele to the accompaniment of soft clapping from the crowd....

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The once and future Nonny

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot



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