Miriam Makeba

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Miriam Makeba

Post by Guysanto » Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:57 am

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African singer Miriam Makeba, one of Africa's best known voices and a champion of the fight against apartheid during three decades in exile, has died of a heart attack after a concert in Italy. She was 76.

Known as "Mama Africa" and the "Empress of African Song," Makeba was the first black South African musician to gain international fame, winning renown in the 1950s for her sweeping vocals. She was loathed by South Africa's white minority rulers.

Former South African President and anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela paid homage to the singer, calling her "South Africa's first lady of song" and saying her music inspired hope.

"Despite her tremendous sacrifice and the pain she felt to leave behind her beloved family and her country when she went into exile, she continued to make us proud as she used her worldwide fame to focus attention on the abomination of apartheid," Mandela said in a letter released by his foundation.

"It was fitting that her last moments were spent on a stage, enriching the hearts and lives of others -- and again in support of a good cause."

Makeba fell ill after a concert against organized crime in the southern Italian town of Baia Verde late Sunday, her publicist said. She died after being rushed to a clinic in the town of Castel Volturno.

"It was from a heart attack, but she had not been well for some time," publicist Mark Lechat told Reuters. He said Makeba had also been suffering from arthritis.


Radio stations across South Africa paid tribute to the singer, reading out text messages in praise of one of the best loved stars in the country and across the continent.

"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," said Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Makeba spent 31 years in exile after speaking out against apartheid. One of her songs demanded the release of Mandela, who spent 27 years in jail for fighting white-minority rule. She returned home in 1990 on a French passport.

"The disappearance of Miriam Makeba deeply moves me and I share the sadness of her very many admirers in South Africa, France and around the world," French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said in a statement.

"Her disappearance leaves a painful vacuum worthy of her multiple talents and her immense generosity," he added.

Makeba always stressed her African pride through her hairstyles and traditional clothes.

She came from humble beginnings in a shantytown near Johannesburg. The former domestic servant first started to sing in her school choir and learned new songs by listening to recordings of American jazz artists like Ella Fitzgerald.

Mixing jazz with traditional African sounds, Makeba punctuated some songs with the clicks of her Xhosa language, creating classics such as "The Click Song" and "Pata Pata."

Makeba won attention on the international stage as lead singer for the South African band The Manhattan Brothers. In New York, she worked with Harry Belafonte.

While she won over millions on the stage, Makeba's personal life was marred by tragedy. Makeba had said her first husband often beat her, and she left him after finding him in bed with her sister.

Makeba married American "black power" activist Stokely Carmichael in 1968 and they moved to the West African country of Guinea, but later split. She was divorced four times.

(Additional reporting by Antonella Cinelli in Rome and Tamora Vidaillet in Paris; Editing by Matthew Tostevin)

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Post by Jgpalmis » Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:50 pm

RIP Mama Makeba

Thank you for everything you've done to make this world a better place.

Rest In Peace Mama


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Post by Serge » Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:07 pm

For many years, she, along with Hugh Masekela, were the voices of resistance against the brutal Apartheid regime, travelling all over the world and raising consciousness about the horrible situation under the Apartheid regime.

Mama Makeba gave her whole life to the struggle, with dignity, determination and a remarkable sense of purpose that inspired generations after generations of South Africans and other peoples around the world. I remember how I used to listen to her music in Haiti, when she released her famous album "Pata Pata". I never got tired of playing the album over and over again.

She will be sorely missed. We will take solace however in the fact that thanks to her shining example, thanks to the amount of music she leaves behind, thanks to the way she lived her life with professionalism, integrity, she will remain a point of reference, a beacon of hope for all who are fighting against injustice, racial discrimination and intolerance.

May she rest in peace after a job well done!


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La chanteuse sud-africaine Miriam Makeba est décédée

Post by Guysanto » Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:49 pm

Par LEXPRESS.fr, publié le 10/11/2008
http://www.lexpress.fr/culture/musique/ ... 98028.html

Voix légendaire du continent africain et symbole de la lutte anti-apartheid, l'artiste sud-africaine Miriam Makeba, surnommée "Mama Africa", est décédée dans la nuit de dimanche à lundi près de Naples, en Italie, après une ultime apparition sur scène.

Miriam Makeba est née à Johannesburg le 4 mars 1932. Enfant d'une mère Swazi et d'un père Xhosa, elle attira l'attention internationale en tant que chanteuse du groupe sud-africain the Manhattan Brothers, lors d'une tournée aux Etats-Unis en 1959.

L'année suivante, alors qu'elle voulait revenir dans son pays pour assister à l'enterrement de sa mère, l'Etat sud-africain l'a déchu de sa nationalité et condamna peu après sa musique.

A la suite de ce bannissement, elle vécut 31 ans en exil, aux Etats-Unis et en Guinée.

Elle fut la première femme noire a se voir décerner un Grammy Award qu'elle partagea avec le chanteur américain Harry Belafonte en 1965.

Deux ans plus tard, elle connut les sommets de la gloire avec l'enregistrement de son tube indémodable "Pata Pata" inspirée d'une danse dans un township.

En 1985, elle connut un passage à vide lorsque sa fille, Bongi, mourut à l'age de 36 ans et Miriam Makeba, qui n'avait pas d'argent pour payer son enterremment, l'enterra toute seule empêchant les journalistes de couvrir l'événement.

Dans les années 1990, elle revint dans son pays après la sortie de prison de Nelson Mandela, mais du attendre six ans avant de pouvoir enregister un nouveau disque.

Elle sortit alors le disque "Homeland" qui contient une chanson décrivant sa joie d'être revenue dans son pays et dans lequel elle évoque l'apartheid.

"J'ai conservé ma culture, j'ai conservé la musique de mes racines. Grâce à elle, je suis devenue cette voix et cette image de l'Afrique et de son peuple sans même en être consciente", a écrit la grande chanteuse africaine dans sa biographie.

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Post by Guysanto » Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:22 pm

Issued by: ZM Makeba Trust and Siyandisa Music

10th November 2008

The world was dealt a blow early this morning, in a small town outside Naples, Italy when Zenzile Miriam Makeba..Mama Afrika to the world, passed away.. and left this earth, aged 76 years. She was born on 4th March 1932.

Whilst this great lady was alive she would say “I will sing until the last day of my life”

Zenzile Miriam Makeba collapsed on stage, at the end of her set, after singing Pata Pata. She was immediately attended to by her grandson Nelson Lumumba Lee and others before being rushed to the nearest hospital. Tragically, in the early hours of this 10th of November 2008 morning, the doctors pronounced that they were unable to revive her.

Ambassador Makeba, was with her band, and was performing before an outdoor audience, in the open air at Via Verde, in the small town of Castelvolturno, not far from Naples. The audience included her long time friend, Italian promoter, Roberto Meglioli, who she had called on Friday from Holland, and asked to attend her show. He was on stage with her at the end of the show, and there she collapsed into his arms.

Dr Miriam Makeba never forgot her struggle through her life, and never stopped identifying with those who were downtrodden and who suffered. An activist to the end, the event where she was performing at, was an Anti-Racism and Anti-Mafia Event. “Mazi” as she was affectionately known by those who knew her well, never shied from speaking her mind and standing for her beliefs. She was an outstanding South African, a and indeed a gracious and true citizen of the World.

Zenzile Miriam Makeba is survived by her grandchildren Nelson Lumumba Lee and Zenzi Monique Lee, and her great- grandchildren Lindelani, Ayanda and Kwame.


Post by Gelin_ » Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:28 pm

Elle m'a toujours fait penser à Martha Jn Claude.


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