Miriam Makeba dies in concert

This is a music video of Miriam Makeba‘s anti apartheid song Ndodemnyama (Beware, Verwoerd!).

More Miriam Makeba videos: here.

From the BBC:

Singer Miriam Makeba dies aged 76

Miriam Makeba was a leading symbol in the struggle against apartheid

South African singing legend Miriam Makeba has died aged 76, after being taken ill in Italy.

She had just taken part in a concert near the southern town of Caserta, the Ansa news agency reported.

The concert was on behalf of Roberto Saviano, the author of an expose of the Camorra mafia whose life has subsequently been threatened.

Ms Makeba appeared on Paul Simon’s Graceland tour in 1987 and in 1992 had a leading role in the film Sarafina!

Ansa said she died of a heart attack.

‘Mama Africa’

Ms Makeba was born in Johannesburg on 4 March 1932 and was a leading symbol in the struggle against apartheid.

Her singing career started in the 1950s as she mixed jazz with traditional South African songs.

She came to international attention in 1959 during a tour of the United States with the South African group the Manhattan Brothers.

She was forced into exile soon after when her passport was revoked after starring in an anti-apartheid documentary and did not return to her native country until Nelson Mandela was released from prison.

Makeba was the first black African woman to win a Grammy Award, which she shared with Harry Belafonte in 1965.

She was African music’s first world star, says the BBC’s Richard Hamilton, blending different styles long before the phrase “world music” was coined.

After her divorce from fellow South African musician Hugh Masekela she married American civil rights activist Stokely Carmichael.

It was while living in exile in the US that she released her most famous songs, Pata Pata and the Click Song.

“You sing about those things that surround you,” she said. “Our surrounding has always been that of suffering from apartheid and the racism that exists in our country. So our music has to be affected by all that.”

It was because of this dedication to her home continent that Miriam Makeba became known as Mama Africa.

See also here.

Mary Lou Williams, US jazz pianist: here.

Anita O’Day, US jazz singer: here.

Martin Russell: Anti-apartheid activist and painter: here.

SOUTH Africa’s communists celebrated on Wednesday after a high court dismissed an application for parole by the killer of former SACP general secretary Chris Hani: here.

African politicians on communism: here.

Harry Belafonte: here. And here.

My Song: A Memoir Of Art, Race And Defiance
by Harry Belafonte with Michael Schnayerson (Canongate, £14.99); review here.

10 thoughts on “Miriam Makeba dies in concert

  1. 2008-11-10 12:22
    Makeba dies after anti- Mob concert
    Anti- apartheid icon came to ‘Gomorra’ despite poor health
    (ANSA) – Castel Volturno, November 10 – South African singer Miriam Makeba died of a heart attack after an anti-Mafia concert near Naples Sunday night.

    The legendary anti-apartheid singer, 76, performed in support of writer Roberto Saviano whose worldwide bestseller ‘Gomorra’ exposed the brutal empire of the most powerful local clan in the Camorra (Neapolitan Mafia).

    Anti-racism was also a theme of the concert headlined by Makeba in this Campania town where the Camorra gunned down six West Africans in September. Makeba agreed to sing at the concert despite being in poor health, aides said.

    After performing a typically energetic half-hour set, the singer had chest pains and was rushed to a local clinic where she died shortly afterwards, medical sources said. One of Africa’s best-known singers and a champion of the fight against apartheid, Makeba was known as Mama Africa and the Empress of African Song.

    She was the first black South African musician to gain international fame, in the United States in the 1950s.

    Castel Volturno is near Casal di Principe, home of the Casalesi clan whose death threats have led Saviano to consider leaving Italy.

    The young writer’s 2006 book Gomorra (Gomorrah) has been translated in more than 40 countries and turned into a 2008 Cannes-winning film now bidding for the Oscars. The Italian government has sent the army to the area to combat a clan it says has ”declared war on the State”.

    The September 18 massacre of the six immigrants and an Italian was a key event in sparking the government’s response.

    Before the concert, local police said, Camorra heavies demanded a ‘pizzo’ (slice) from the takings but were rebuffed.


  2. African revolutionary Thomas Sankara’s example lives on

    By Demba Moussa Dembélé

    Thomas Sankara was killed in the belief that it could extinguish the
    example he set for African youth and progressive forces across the
    continent. They could not have been more wrong. One week before his
    assassination on October 15, 1987, in a speech marking the 20th
    anniversary of the assassination of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Thomas
    Sankara declared: “Ideas cannot be killed, ideas never die.” Indeed,
    the history of humanity is replete with martyrs and heroes whose ideas
    and actions have survived the passage time to inspire future generations.

    * Read more http://links.org.au/node/722


  3. 008-11-11 17:22

    Mafia is Italy’s biggest business
    Loan sharking and extortion huge source of income

    (ANSA) – Rome, November 11 – The biggest business in Italy today is organized crime with an annual turnover of some 130 billion euros and a net profit of close to 70 billion euros, after investments and expenses, according to the national retail services association Confesercenti.

    In a report presented on Tuesday, Confesercenti said that ”every day organized crime takes some 250 million euros away from retailers and businessmen. This is equal to about 10 million euros an hour or 160,000 euros a minute”.

    Loan sharking is the greatest source of income for organized crime from the business sector and it continues to expand, the report observed.

    ”The number of businessmen who have fallen victim to this crime has risen to some 180,000 and offering loans at high interest rates has created a turnover in the neighborhood of 15 billion euros for organized crime,” the retailers’ association added. Extortion is the second biggest moneymaker for organized crime although ”the number of businesses forced to pay protection money has remained stable due to a general decline in the number of legal enterprises and a rise in those controlled by mafia organizations,” the report said.

    But organized crime is not interested in protection money alone, the retailers’ report observed, and many gangs have infiltrated important segments of the legal economy and expanded into areas like tourism, bars and restaurants, food production and entertainment. According to the head of the Italian Anti-Racket Federation (FAI), Tano Grasso, ”we are currently facing a loan sharking emergency which has exploded with the runaway economic crisis”.

    ”The current economic crisis has forced banks to cut back on extending credit towards small businessmen and artisans forcing them to turn to loan sharks,” he explained.

    Grasso is a former national anti-racket commissioner and ex-MP who in 1990 set up Italy’s first anti-racket association, ACIO in Capo d’Orlando, Sicily.

    Interior Undersecretary Alfredo Mantovano agreed that organised crimed ”exploited times of economic crisis,” but said that ”the government is responding to this with a series of adequate measures… we are not being caught off guard”.

    ”Some of the measures have already been adopted and gone into effect while others are currently under debate. What is important is that we have moved forward from a period of awareness to one of taking action,” he added.


  4. You commie pigs. Why is it that the most ignorant and psychopathological become communist? Opps. I answered my own question. Now America, land of the sheep and home of the zombies hears ans see nothing but your cretinous lies and historical retardation.
    You are scum. Only a nation that glorifies corporate and minority parasitism would allow you drivel to be puke out.


  5. Hi “Kurt Steiner”, teardik@yahoo.com , of 500 N New York Ave, Winter Park, Florida USA:

    so, you react to a post about the death of a great African singer (which did not mention the word “communism” even once) with a racist anticommunist rant? I’ll leave it here, so that the whole Internet will be able to see how stupid nazis like you are.


  6. Mafia still think they ‘own’ women
    Toughest penalties mandated when Mob kills for ‘honour’
    (ANSA) – Rome, January 9 – Many Italian mobsters still think they own their women and believe they should get away with murder if they are jilted, Italy’s highest court said Friday.

    Rejecting a plea of ‘crime of passion’, the Cassation Court sentenced a Camorra boss to life for the 2000 murder of a factory worker the boss’s girlfriend fell in love with.

    The court, whose rulings set precedents, said the toughest penalties should be applied in cases where mobsters ”kill merely to punish someone they think belongs to them, not accepting a woman’s right to live her own life”.

    The Mafia has been known to apply an outdated code of honour that extends to murdering people, especially women, who have ‘brought shame’ on their families.

    So-called honour killings are also part of Italy’s legal history, where the idea was an admitted defense until 1981.

    Prior to its reversal, an article existed in the Italian Criminal Code that provided a reduced penalty of imprisonment of only three to seven years for a man who killed his wife, sister or daughter to vindicate his or his family’s honour.

    Such crimes were once a fairly widely accepted feature of highly traditional communities in southern Italy – and even sparked an Oscar-winning 1961 comedy called Divorce, Italian Style, starring Marcello Mastroianni.

    The Mafia, clinging to the past, has much more recently recently killed women who ‘strayed’ sexually or had children without being married.


  7. The fourth remarkable film was called Mama Africa, a biography of South African singer Miriam Makeba.

    Made by Finnish director Mika Kaurismaki, the film was to be a live tribute but changed direction when Makeba died suddenly in the middle of production, while singing in Milan, Italy at the age of 76 in 2008.

    Makeba was brought as a 19-year-old to the US by a little known promoter in 1960. She was unable to return to South Africa, whose government banned her music.

    Belafonte helped make her into an international star, especially in the US. He also gave her good advice ― never to forget her roots.

    This advice kept her grounded and she also became a political activist and sung in many languages, including Xhosa and Zulu.

    She helped launch the international anti-apartheid campaign in 1963 by speaking at the United Nations, calling for a boycott.

    However, she was blacklisted by the industry in the US when she married Black Power leader Stokely Carmichael in 1968.

    The day after the marriage, all her singing engagements were cancelled and her records were never heard on US radio again.

    Makeba was forced to live in exile in Guinea. She donated much of her earnings to Black South African students so that they could study in Guinea.

    She personally suffered enormously with the accidental death of her third grandchild in Guinea, from eating pills he picked up off the ground; her only daughter Bongi died in childbirth a month later, aged 35.

    Makeba is survived by two other grandchildren, Lumumba and Zenzile, who recount their lives in the film.

    Her second husband, trumpeter Hugh Masekela, says that on Makeba’s return to South Africa after Nelson Mandela was released, she was never accorded her proper place and given proper recognition in her long fight for Black African human right ― though she was known internationally as Mama Africa.

    There are also interviews with Benin singer Angelique Kidjo, who says every Black African singer was influenced by Makeba.

    The film is an illustration of the long legacy passed from one generation of Africans to the next. Starting with Robeson, the baton was passed to Belafonte, then to Makeba, and handed onto Kidjo.

    So although liberation may not be obtained in one’s lifetime, the examples of how to live your life and how to fight can teach others to do the same with dignity and purpose.

    Eventually, the struggle will be won.

    The film festival will also be travelling around Australia ― don’t miss these great films.



  8. Pingback: Politicologist Samuel Huntington dies | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  9. Pingback: African American 20th century art exhibition | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  10. Pingback: South African musician Hugh Masekela, RIP | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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