Miriam Makeba – Happy Birthday (1932-2008)
Happy Birthday Miriam Makeba – with a beautiful drawing to be seen on Google today!
Time goes by so fast… and sooner or later we all have to move on. What continues is what we gave, what we passed on – be it our love, our spirit, our thoughts, our writing, our music… and the way they captured and transmitted a Joy for Life, Hope when we needed it, Courage to trust the Unknown and move beyond our limitations, Inspiration to realize our Dreams… Those remain burnt into our hearts forever.
Miriam Makeba – The Emperess of African Song
Driving through a typically beautiful hot and sunny South African morning I enjoyed listening to “The Empress of African Song”, the first African woman to win a Grammy award, the great “Mama Makeba” . This African legend performed with musical legends from around the world like jazz maestros Nina Simone, Dizzy Gillespie, Harry Belafonte and Paul Simon just to name a few… and what marked her is that she always remained truthful to her Purpose and her Passion – and this until her last moment:
‘I will sing until the last day of my life!’
Miriam Makeba at the Jazz Festival 2008
Well, she did… and for us she keeps singing and reminding us that…
“Age is Wisdom if one has lived one’s Life!”
Mama Africa lived for her Music and its Mission. She sang what she felt from her heart, never mind the (political) circumstances. She represented the almost magic strength of the African woman, a strength that can achieve everything – without losing a sense of belonging, of compassion, of purpose.
Nelson Mandela’s Tribute to this Grande Dame of Africa when she suddenly collapsed and died on 10 November 2008 in Caserta, Italy:
“ The sudden passing of our beloved Miriam has saddened us and our nation.
For many decades, starting in the years before we went to prison, MaMiriam featured prominently in our lives and we enjoyed her moving performances at home.
Despite her tremendous sacrifice and the pain she felt to leave behind her beloved family and her country when she went into exile, she continued to make us proud as she used her worldwide fame to focus attention on the abomination of apartheid.
Her haunting melodies gave voice to the pain of exile and disclocation which she felt for 31 long years.
At the same time, her music inspired a powerful sense of hope in all of us.
Even after she returned home she continued to use her name to make a difference by mentoring musicians and supporting struggling young women.
One of her more recent projects was to highlight the plight of victims of land mines.
She was South Africa’s first lady of song and so richly deserved the title of Mama Afrika.
She was a mother to our struggle and to the young nation of ours. It was fitting that her last moments were spent on a stage, enriching the hearts and lives of others – and again in support of a good cause.”
Mama Afrika lives on in her Music and Rhythms…
Mama Afrika would have turned 81 years today… we wish she was still around ! At least her music lives on…