We lost a great one today; South African activist and singer Miriam Makeba passed away at the age of 76. I first discovered her music in my teenage years, the 1980’s, a time when investment in South Africa was being challenged by activists all over the world. I found her music through political curiosity and fell in love with her art for a million other reasons. Makeba, nicknamed Mama Africa for her huge impact on the cultural understanding of the continent, was the popular voice of South African music despite being exiled from the country in 1960 for speaking out against the apartheid government. She finally returned to South Africa in 1991, reunited with the nation that loved her. 31 years in exile, but creative, vibrant and critical years; her impact cannot be overstated.
Another great talent lost; Who will replace all of these voices?
(You can see Makeba in Jeff Levy-Hinte’s amazing Soul Power when it is released in the coming months…)