Song of the day: Miriam Makeba’s last song

South Africa is in mourning. Mariam Makeba, better known as "Mama Africa" or the "Songbird of Africa", is no more.

The South African singer who, along with Nelson Mandela, came to be identified with her country’s struggle against apartheid rule and whose songs became a rallying cry for black freedom, died near Rome today after performing at a protest concert. She was 76.

She had been singing at a concert protesting Mafia rule in Italy and in support of Roberto Saviano, an author who has received death threats since writing about organised crime.

After the South African regime cancelled her passport in 1960, Mariam Makeba spent 31 years in exile, living in France, Guinea and Belgium, and the United States. She was prevented from attending her mother’s funeral after touring in the U.S.

Her music was banned on state-owned South African radio and television after she condemned the racist South African regime at the U.N. headquarters in 1976. (Full)

Her best known song was the world hit "Pata-Pata".

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Voegtli 11 November, 2008 04:36  

I was very moved when they showed her in the news yesterday, with an extract from her concert the night before and then to think that during this very concert she had to "go".

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