Sunday, April 8, 2007


Miriam’s powerful and distinctive voice retains the clarity and range that enable it to be both forceful as a protest march and as poignant as an African lullaby.

South African diva Miriam Makeba is well known throughout the world known as the Mama Africa and the Empress of African Song. Born in 1932 in South Africa, she first came to the public’s attention as a featured vocalist with the Manhattan Brothers in 1954. She soon left to record with her all-woman group the Skylarks while touring Southern Africa with Alf Herbert'sAfrican Jazz and Variety, an 18 month tour that launched the careers of many African artists.

In 1959, Makeba’s incredible voice help win her the role of the female lead in the show, King Kong, a Broadway-inspired South African musical. She then went to conquer America where she sang at President Kennedy’s birthday and worked in New York with Harry Belafonte creating such classics as “The Click Song” and “Pata Pata”.

In 1963 she testified about apartheid before the United Nations, as a result the South African government revoked her citizenship and right of return. She stayed in the U.S. and married Stokely Carmichael, a Black Panther leader. That began her exile from her South African homeland. After harassment by U.S. authorities she fled to exile in Guinea.

Makeba returned to world prominence when she performed with Paul Simon on the Graceland tour. Finally in the late 1980’s she returned to her homeland as a free South African.

Listen to Miriam Makeba
Hapo Zamani
Pata Pata
Jinkel E Maweni
Ngoma Nkurila featuring the late Bongi Makeba (Miriam Makeba's daughter)

More Information:
The African Music Encyclopedia
African Pop


Anonymous said...

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great work saharan vibe


Hi Aliko,
Thanks for dropping by Saharan Vibe and for your kind compliments. You are always welcome to Saharan Vibe. Feel free to drop comments/ideas/suggestions.


ndumunya mso said...

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