Mama Africa died. The voice of the people. The song of the people. She is no more. But her music lives on. And with it… Her love for Africa and its people.
This is from one of her first songs that the world got to see. Hum… She was hot! Mama Africa singing Pata Pata.
The one song every bloody Souf Efrikan whitie knows… (And she is still hot!) Miriam Makeba singing The Click Song. (With a bit of an intro into Xhosa and politics – sorry, I had to use a new link so the politics got lost. Someone removed the original from YouTube!)
And this one has a bit of a long intro but it hits you hard when she starts singing. Man… Did I mention that she is hot! Sinead O’Connor of Africa singing Amampondo.
But in the end Mama Africa was about so much more than her music. Miriam Makeba made music. Mama Africa spoke for her people. A glimpse of what she had to say to the UN back in 1963. Being Mama Africa…
Her citizenship was revoked shortly after this. She couldn’t go back to her country. To her people. But she always fought on. Always for justice. Always for her people. The people of Africa. And her people from South Africa. From fighting for justice when she married (and later separated from) Trinidadian civil rights activist and Black Panthers leader Stokely Carmichael to receiving the UN Dag Hammerskjöld Peace Prize. She always fought for justice. Always.
But she saw her country united at last. She came back in 1990. To her home. To her people. And this song was made for her to sing. (The intro is played by Hugh Masekela. Another legend and another ex-husband of Mama Africa.)
Mama Africa never forgot about the fight for justice. Never. She didn’t die at home. She died in Castel Volturno in Italy, in the evening of 9 November 2008, of a heart attack, shortly after taking part in a concert organized to support writer Roberto Saviano in his stand against the Camorra, a mafia-like organisation. Camorra finances itself through drug trafficking, extortion, protection and racketeering. It is the oldest organized criminal organization in Italy. Mama Africa… Mama World… Mama Ubuntu… No matter where you were, she was with you in your fight for justice, freedom, liberty and equality for all.
She died just after singing Pata Pata. She died on stage.
In the words of Mama Africa, “I will sing until the last day of my life.”
So she is gone. But live on. Always.
Viva Mama Africa! Viva! Long Live Miriam Makeba! Long Live!