Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Farewell Miriam Mabeka

Miriam Makeba - Pata Pata

It was mind-boggling to read about the death of Miriam Makeba. She was the Mother of Africa, Queen Africa, Empress Africa. She had more titles than Haile Selassie!

Miriam was a South African singer, perhaps the most famous singer in all of Africa. She was also a person of incredible personal integrity. During apartied she spoke out about the regimes human rights violation at the United Nations. For that she was banned from her homeland for 31 years. She was not able to attend her mother’s funeral. She was cut off from her home and friends. However, this did not stop her.

Miriam toured the world singing and introducing the world to a music that sounds to me like a combination of jazz, blues and Africa. The music is moving and beautiful, at times almost haunting.

She sang with Harry Belafonte. She sang at President Kennedy’s birthday party. She sang with Paul Simon. She sang, and she sang and she sang. Two days ago she gave a concert in Italy in support of an author who had written about organized crime. The author had threats to his life, Miriam of course came to his support. She died shortly after the concert from a heart attack.

There are some people who walk this earth and you know the world is better because they were among us. You are sad at their leaving but grateful they spent time there. Miriam Makeba is on such soul. Thank you Empress of Africa.

Miriam Makeba 2007

No comments: