Miriam Makeba - “Mama Afrika”
Miriam Makeba (1938 - 2008 ) as we all know pretty much revolutionised the way African and particularly South African music was presented and viewed by the world. Her legacy infact lives beyond music as she was not only a musician and actress but a fierce activist who had her nationality stripped from her by the then government and was in effect left homeless. Yet, her exile from South Africa fuelled her courageous activism and she lobbied the world in her favour to fight the oppressive government of the time, and through music gave her people hope of liberation and intrigued the rest of the world.
Anyway I think she had a pretty amazing life. Surviving a plane crash; being married to a Black Panther (leader); winning numerous peace prizes and addressing the UN; working with some of the Worlds greatest musicians ever; singing for president JF Kennedy; performing at the legendary ‘Rumble in the Jungle’; winning a grammy in the 60s and photographed by one of my favourite photographers Jurgen Schadeberg.
(Source: excerpt from a piece I wrote on Doepelganger )