Lest we forget, this imposing diva with the larger-than-life persona.
Despite her lifelong claim that she was not a political singer, she became “Mama Africa” with an activist’s tenacity and a musician’s ear. She took a stand against apartheid and racism. denouncing apartheid in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in 1963. She became the first African artist to win a Grammy Award in 1966 for her album with Harry Belafonte ,An Evening With Belafonte/Makeba. The album touched on a range of issues faced by black South Africans under the racially discriminatory apartheid regime.
Who can forget melodies like “The Click Song,” with its percussive syllables, which became one of her international hits. And we still dance to ‘Pata Pata” it’s impossible to guess what she may have been thinking when she sang it in 1967 in the full knowledge that she herself would not be welcome back in Johannesburg until a regime change.
You will live in your music forever Mama Africa!