Miriam Makeba… Mama Africa

Miriam Makeba


Miriam Makeba... Mama Africa
MIRIAM MAKEBA, Johannesburg, South Africa (Zenzile Miriam Makeba, 1932-2008)

Miriam Makeba was born from a Swazi Banthu mother and a Xhosa Nguni father. She used to sing in choirs during her childhood and was also fond of American jazz. She joined the bands ‘The Cuban Brothers’ in the early 50s, ‘The Manhattan Brothers’ in 1953 and ‘The Skylarks’ in 1956 and later appeared in local musical shows and movies. In late 1959, she moved to New York where Harry Belafonte helped her settle in Greenwich Village, perform in jazz clubs, appear on TV shows and release 10 LPs in 1960-67, reaping worldwide recognition with her hit song Pata Pata (1967).

Since the 1960 Sharpeville massacre in Transvaal, she was a fierce and prominent human rights and antiapartheid activist. The U.S. administration harassed her and cancelled her visa in late 1968. She then immigrated to Guinea where she lived until 1985, becoming Guinea’s official delegate to the United Nations and also acting as a diplomat for Ghana while pursuing her musical career. After having relocated to Belgium, she toured with Paul Simon in 1987 in his ‘Graceland‘ world tour. In 1990, five months after Nelson Mandela was released from prison, she headed back home to South-Africa.

Miriam Makeba was married to the exiled South African musician Hugh Masekela in 1963-68 and to the US Civil Rights and Pan-African movements leader Stokely Carmichael in 1968-73. From 1960 to 2000 she released more than 250 songs in 21 studio LP albums, delivering in many musical genres in African languages – mainly Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho and Swahili – and in English, French and Portuguese. In the late 80s, she was given the moniker ‘Mama Africa’.

2000 HOMELAND  –  Homeland  ∙  Umhome  ∙  1993 SING ME A SONG  –  Laktushona Ilanga  ∙  1991 EYES ON TOMORROW  –  Thulasizwe (I shall be released) ft Nina Simone  ∙  1990 WELELA  –  Soweto Blues  (orig. 1977 Hugh Masekela)  ∙  A luta continua  ∙  Give me a reason (live)  ∙  1988 SANGOMA  –  Sabumoya  ∙  Nginani Na  ∙ 

1987 GRACELAND  –  N’Kosi Sikeleli  ∙  1979 COMME UNE SYMPHONIE D’AMOUR  –  African Convention  ∙  1978 COUNTRY GIRL  –  Meet Me At The River (2002 live)  ∙  1975 MIRIAM MAKEBA & BONGI  –  Malcolm X  ∙  1974 A PROMISE  –  Hauteng  ∙  We Got To Make It (1990 live)  ∙  1970 KEEP ME IN MIND  –  Lumumba  ∙  1969 SINGLE  –  Malaika  ∙  1968 MAKEBA!  –  Ibhabhalazi  ∙  Emavungwini (Down in the dumps)   ∙ 

1967 PATA PATA!  –  Pata Pata  ∙  Jol’inkomo  ∙  Ring Bell, Ring Bell  ∙  Malayisha  ∙  1966 ALL ABOUT MIRIAM  –  Mas Que Nada  ∙  Ye tintu Tizaleny  ∙  1966 THE MAGNIFICENT MAKEBA  –   Akana Nkomo (Los Caracoles)  ∙  La Bushe (Congo Bushe)  ∙  1965 THE MAGIC OF MAKEBA  –  Oxgam  ∙  1965 AN EVENING WITH BELAFONTE & MAKEBA  –  Khawuleza (Hurry, Mama!)  ∙  Ndodemnyama Verwoerd!  ∙  Nongqongqo (To those we love)  ∙ 

1964 MAKEBA SINGS!  –  Kilimanjaro  ∙  Chove Chuva  ∙  1964 THE VOICE OF AFRICA  –  Nomthini  ∙  Qhude  ∙  1963 THE WORLK OF MIRIAM MAKEBA  –  Dubula  ∙  Kwedini  ∙  Tonandos de Media Noche  ∙  1962 THE MANY VOICES OF MIRIAM MAKEBA  –  Carnival (Theme from Orfeu Negro, Marcel Camus)  ∙  Ngola Kurila (A woman pacifies her hungry child who has nothing to eat)  ∙  1960 MIRIAM MAKEBA  –  Mbube  ∙  Qongqothwane (The click song)  ∙  Suliram (Indonesian lullaby)  ∙  Jikele Maweni (The retreat song)  ∙  House of the Rising Sun  ∙ 

1959 SHOWS & MOVIES ft. Miriam Makeba  –  Into Yam (movie ‘Come back, Africa’)  ∙  Back of the moon (from the King Kong show)  ∙  1957-58 THE SKYLARKS ft. Miriam Makeba  –  Sofiatown is gone  ∙  Lord, make us one  ∙  Hush, Hush  ∙  1954-56 THE MANHATTAN BROTHERS ft. Miriam Makeba  –  Laku Tshoni Ilanga  ∙ 

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