The 76 year old Singer and activist was found collapsed on stage Sunday night after singing one of her most famous hits “Pata Pata,” in a concert for Roberto Saviano, a writer threatened with death by the Mafia over his expose “Gomorrah.” Her last performance was a half-hour set alongside other singers and artists.The Pineta Grande clinic in Castel Volturno, near the southern city of Naples, said Makeba died early Monday of a heart attack. Her grandson, Nelson Lumumba Lee, was with her as well as her longtime friend, Italian promoter Roberto Meglioli, the Associated Press reports.
Makeba’s publicist, Cape Town-based Marc le Chat, has confirmed that the singer had been struggling with arthritis over the past years but had still been accepting key live dates.
“Whilst this great lady was alive she would say: ‘I will sing until the last day of my life’,” her family said in a statement.
“Her haunting melodies gave voice to the pain of exile and dislocation which she felt for 31 long years. At the same time, her music inspired a powerful sense of hope in all of us,” Mandela said in a statement
Makeba was well known throughout the world as the Mama Africa and the Empress of African Song. The first African woman to win a Grammy award, Makeba started singing in Sophiatown as a featured vocalist with the Manhattan Brothers in 1954, a cosmopolitan neighborhood of Johannesburg that was a cultural hotspot in the 1950s before its black residents were forcibly removed by the apartheid government. She later formed her own group, the Skylarks while touring Southern Africa with Alf Herberts’ African Jazz and Variety. 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. That same year, she starred in the anti-apartheid documentary “Come Back, Africa,” which led to a meeting with Harry Belafonte, who helped Makeba gain entry to the United States. In 1963 she testified about apartheid before the United Nations. The South African government responded by banning her records, including hits like “Pata Pata,” “The Click Song” (“Qongqothwane” in Xhosa), and “Malaika” and revoking her citizship and right of return.
Her close relationship with Belafonte opened up new opportunities including a performance for President Kennedy at his birthday party in 1962. In 1966, Makeba received the Grammy Award for Best Folk Recording together with Belafonte for “An Evening With Belafonte/Makeba.” The album dealt with the political plight of black South Africans under apartheid. But she fell briefly out of favor when she married Black Panther activist Stokely Carmichael — later known as Kwame Ture — and moved to Guinea in the late 1960s.
Makeba returned to world prominence when she performed with Paul Simon on the Graceland tour. After three decades abroad, she was invited back to South Africa as a free South African by Mandela, the anti-apartheid icon, shortly after his release from prison in 1990 as white racist rule crumbled. “It was like a revival,” she said about going home. “My music having been banned for so long, that people still felt the same way about me was too much for me. I just went home and I cried.”
In an interview with Britain’s Guardian newspaper earlier this year she said “People think I consciously decided to tell the world what was happening in South Africa. No! I was singing about my life, and in South Africa we always sang about what was happening to us — especially the things that hurt us.”
Makeba announced her retirement three years ago, but despite a series of farewell concerts she never stopped performing. When she turned 75 last year, she said she would sing for as long as possible.
Makeba is survived by her grandchildren, Nelson Lumumba Lee and Zenzi Monique Lee, and her great-grandchildren Lindelani, Ayanda and Kwame.
Share your favorite Miriam Makeba song and memory.
Check Out The Song That Took ‘Song Of The Year’ At The 2019 NAMA
It was a night of glitz and glamor on Saturday 13th April 2019 at the Harare International Conference Center for the 18th National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA). Celebrities and dignitaries were spotted at the center in scintillating outfits. There were musical performances by music stars like Enzo. However, the climax of the event was the award of plaques in different categories for outstanding works.
The music category always draws the most attention. However, this year had lots of surprise entries. The gospel sensation, Mai Patai was voted the best in the People’s Choice category. Patai recently broke the jinx in the Coca-Cola Radio Zimbabwe Top 50 by becoming the first woman to make it to the top three. Another female gospel musician whose hard work continues to pay off is Janet Manyowa. Manyowa won the Outstanding Female Musician award.
A Battle For Experience And Fame
One of the keenly contested categories at NAMA is the Outstanding Male Musician. Three superstars Baba Harare, Enzo Ishall and ExQ contended the award. However, many believe the ‘Nzenza’ crooner ExQ’s longevity and experience set him apart from his competitors. It was double honors for ExQ as his album ‘Tseu Tseu’ won the Outstanding Album. Although losing out of this category, Enzo’s hit track, ‘Kanjiva’ won the ‘Song of the Year’. Speaking to NewsDay Life & Style Enzo said,
“It is such a great honor to receive this award which I dedicate to my son and I would like to thank friends, family, and my fans as well as my producers for supporting me.”
Surprise Name On The Award List
One of the surprise names on the NAMA Award list was Long John, a rib-cracking comedian. Not many saw this coming. From John’s reactions, it is obvious he did not see it coming too. The vibrant comedian took to his Facebook to share his joy.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I’m in shock. I’ve never won anything in my life. But today I am so happy to announce that I’ve just Won the Outstanding Comedian Award. This is so unreal. I even have a certificate and everything. Thank you so much, everyone, for your support #VillageBoy.”
List OF NAMA Award Winners
Spoken Words Award
- Outstanding Poet: Likhwa Ncube
- Outstanding Comedian: Learnmore “Long John” Mwanyenyeka
Literary Arts Awards
- Outstanding First Creative Published Book: Gather the Children by Batsirai Chigama (Ntombekhaya Poetry)
- Outstanding Children’s Book: The City Girl by Elisha July and Tendai K. Rudanda (Pass-Point Publishers)
- Outstanding Fiction: Mazai Emheni by Daniel Mutendi (DanTs Media Publishing)
- Outstanding Actor: Teddy Mangawa in Ukama
- Actress: Qeqeshiwe M’thembo in The Hostel
- Outstanding Theatrical Production: Ukama by Savanna Trust
- Outstanding Director: Lloyd Nyikadzino for Zandezi
- Outstanding Female Dancer: Vein N Alfazema in Black Sheep
- Male Dancer: Martin Chabuka in 100% Afro
- Outstanding Dance Group: Real Flex Dance Group directed by Martin Chabuka
- Outstanding Choreographer: Macintosh Jerahuni and Chaleen Chimara – Iwe Neni Tinebasa
- Outstanding 2 Dimensional Work: The Demolition by John Kotze
- 3 Dimensional Work: Zvirimudombo by Shelton Mubayi
- Outstanding Mix Media Work: The Watchman and the Fence by Greg Shaw
- Outstanding Exhibition: The Grotesque by Alan Sibanda and Talent Kapadza
Film and Television Awards
- Outstanding Actor: Eddie Sandifolo as Clive in Bhachi
- Special Mention: Admire Kuzhangaira – in Death and Other Complications
- Outstanding Actress: Tendaishe Chitima as Anesu in Cook Off
- Outstanding Music Video: Dzamutsana ft. Jah Prayzah produced by Vusa Hlatshayo (aka Blaq)
- Outstanding Screen Production (Television Series): Kuchina The Genesis directed by Blessing Gatsi
- Special Mention: Gaza directed by Ben Mahaka
- Outstanding Screen Production – Short Film: Bhachi directed by Shupai Kamunyaru
- Outstanding Screen Production – Full-Length Film: Cook Off directed by Thomas Brickhill
- Outstanding Journalist – Print: Fred Zindi – The Standard
- Television: Patience Nyagato – ZTV
- Radio: Babongile Sikhonjwa (aka uMrifiti) – Sky Metro FM
- Outstanding Online Media: Capitalk
- Outstanding Female Musician: Janet Manyowa
- Male Musician: Enoch “ExQ” Munhenga
- Outstanding Album: Tseu Tseu by ExQ
- Outstanding Song: Kanjiva by Stephen “Enzo Ishall” Mamhere
- People’s Choice Award Winner: Mai Patai
- Artist in the Diaspora: Danai J. Gurira
- Outstanding Promoter: Unplugged Zimbabwe
- Arts Personality Award of the Year: Mokoomba
- Arts Service Award: The Standard Newspaper
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Charles Mungoshi
Davido Just Released A New Remix Of His Song “Fall” With Busta Rhymes
Davido’s “Fall” is by far his most successful single till date. Since the release of the track in 2017, it has earned over 113 million YouTube views. Recently it broke the record as the longest pop song in Billboard history. It appears the multiple award-winning pop star wants to extend the reign of the song. Davido recently released the remix to “Fall” where he teamed up with veteran rapper Busta Rhymes and Brooklyn-based MC Prayah.
Before the release a few days ago, Busta Rhymes teased his followers on Instagram. The song begins with Busta Rhymes dropping his signature rap style before giving way for Prayah. However, besides the introduction of international acts, every other part of the song remained the same.
‘Fall’ became the first Nigerian music video to cross the 100 million views mark on YouTube last year. With the introduction of Busta Rhymes, Davido would hope to achieve more success with the remix. While some fans may argue that Busta Rhymes time on the song was very short, it still gives fans something to hold onto while waiting eagerly for his LP produced by Dr. Dre.
Top 10 Most Popular Songs From Davido
Unlike many artists that base their success on the number of studio albums they have, Davido has just one. However, since coming into the music industry in 2011 he has not shown signs of slowing down. Each year he thrills fans with solo tracks or collaborations that quickly turn to an anthem. Here are 10 of Davido’s most popular songs.
Not many critics gave Davido a chance when he released Fall in 2017. Fall was his second single for the year and a follow-up to ‘IF’. However, a few weeks after its release ‘Fall’ became the top pick for most celebrations, thanks to its comic love lyrics. With over 100 million YouTube views and platinum rank by the Recording Industry of South Africa (RISA), ‘Fall’ is by far his most popular song.
Released in February 2017, ‘If’ has garnered over 77 million views on Youtube. The phrase ‘30 billion for the account’ has become a popular slogan in the country and beyond. ‘If’ also earned the singer awards like Best African Act (MTV EMA), Best Worldwide Act, and Artist of the Year.
Aye is a love song. Released days before Valentine’s Day gave the song a head start. The lyrics which separates true love from materialism quickly caught the attention of fans. Davido went ahead to win the prestigious Headies song of the year award in 2014 for Aye. Aye has over 53 million views on YouTube.
Davido fans will not forget 2017 in a hurry. Late in that year Davido released FIA which is another love song told in a comic way. Fia has also garnered over 59 million views on YouTube
The popularity of skelewu cannot be separated from its unique dance step. At that time people were scampering to participate in what would have been tagged ‘Skelewu dance challenge’ today. Ace footballers like Samuel Eto’o and Emmanuel Adebayo were caught dancing to the song.
Davido is familiar with drama and keeps his love affair public. Earlier in 2018, Davido broke the Internet when he released the song ‘Assurance’ dedicated to his long-time girlfriend, Chioma. What thrilled fans the most is the Porsche with a custom plate number ‘Assurance’ the artist gifted his girlfriend. The song has over 36 million views on YouTube.
Full of energy and new in the industry, ‘Dami Duro’ was more of a statement of his intention. The song and its strong beat quickly became a major club song. The song also won the ‘Hottest single of the Year’ at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards.
‘Back When’ is one of Davido’s breakthrough songs. It was the first off his debut album, ‘Omo Baba Olowo’. He featured established rapper, Naeto C on the track. The single won him the 2012 ‘Best Newcomer’ at the Kora Awards.
Davido’s history of love songs began with Ekuro which was released in 2012. After making a hard entrance the previous year, Davido showed off his romantic side in Ekuro. The success of Ekuro paved way for other romantic hits.
All of You
Davido used this track to pay respect to veterans like D’banj, P-Square, and 2baba who were already household names. Released in 2012, ‘All of you’ quickly became a hit.
Which of Davido’s songs do you like the most?
Soweto Gospel Choir Beat Three African Nominees to Win Third Grammy
The annual Grammy Award is a celebration of music achievements in over 80 categories. Of all the categories, the Best World Music Album is reserved for international performers exhibiting “non-European, indigenous traditions”. Four African Albums were nominated for this category in the 61st Grammy Award. This includes;
However, it was the Soweto Gospel Choir that took home the award for their album, Freedom.
The annual celebration for the coveted award took place on Sunday 10th February 2019. However, this is not the first time that the group will be taking home the award. In fact, it is their third win in five nominations. The album ‘Freedom’ is a rendition of popular South African liberation struggle songs. Mulalo and Mary Mulovhedzi, and album producer Diniloxolo Ndlakuse Shimmy Jiyane were on stage to receive the award on behalf of the group.
Interesting details about the album
The Choir recorded the album in June 2018 as a tribute to Nelson Mandela’s 100 Years celebration. Nelson Mandela died in 2013 at the age of 95. The album is a collection of famous South African struggle songs. A worthy inclusion in the album is a brilliant version of ‘Asimbonanga’ by Johnny Clegg. The album release happened in the United States in 2018. The group also completed a three-month tour in the United States. The group will perform songs from the album in Cape Town Jazz Festival coming up in March. Soweto Gospel Choir also plans Australasia album tour from July to September 2019.
History and previous awards
David Mulovhedsi co-founded the group with Beverly Bryer, a producer, and director 17 years ago. The group won the Grammy in ‘Best Traditional World Music Album’ category in 2007. In 2008 they also took home the award in the same category for their album ‘African Spirit’. The win at the just-concluded 61st Grammy Award makes it their third. The group has also won the Metro FM Music Award and four South African Music Awards. Soweto Gospel Choir’s collaboration with pop icon U2 also won the Emmy.
The president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa took to Twitter to congratulate the group for their win. He wrote,
“Congratulations to the Soweto Gospel Choir for being awarded the Best World Music album for ‘Freedom’ at the #Grammys. This is the choir’s third Grammy award and we thank them for telling our story to the world and flying the flag high.”
Congratulations to the Soweto Gospel Choir for being awarded the Best World Music album for ‘Freedom’ at the #GRAMMYs. This is the choir’s third Grammy award and we thank them for telling our story to the world and flying the flag high. pic.twitter.com/03QH3YZ8ZU
— President Cyril Ramaphosa (@CyrilRamaphosa) February 11, 2019
- Explore Africa2 months ago
20 Modern African Women Leaders Who Are Opening New Trails For Women
- Explore Africa2 months ago
There Is A Growing List of African Countries That Allow Dual Citizenship
- Arts & Culture2 months ago
Beyonce Wears Ankara Suit By Nigerian Designer to UTA Artist Space Event
- Celebrities2 months ago
20 Most Influential African Actresses On Instagram
- Fashion2 months ago
DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: Sheelah Garbrah Gives The Kente Cloth A Stunning Makeover With Her Ohemaa Collection
- Lifestyle3 months ago
Ethiopian Prime Minister and Wife Set An Example With Adoption From Kibebe Tsehay Orphanage
- African Ingenuity2 months ago
2019 Africa Owned Car Brands Manufactured In Africa
- Arts & Culture2 months ago
Davido Just Released A New Remix Of His Song “Fall” With Busta Rhymes