Archive for the ‘In Memoriam’ Category

More On Miriam Makeba

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

As Mr. Ernst wrote, more than just the musical world lost an iconic woman on November 9th.  To pay homage to Miriam Makeba, here are some more facts about her life.  In 1965, she was the first black African woman to win a Grammy Award.  Her distinct and inspirational sound was not confined to the coasts of Africa.  She was welcomed and revered by famous American artists, such as Paul Simon, whom she accompanied in 1987 on his Graceland tour.  It was for her immense contributions and those attributes mentioned by Mr. Ernst that she was donned the affectionate name Mama Africa.  I encourage you all to listen to not only those performances posted on this page, but to her other work, for it will leave an everlasting mark on you.

Apartheid Icon Miriam Makeba Dies

Monday, November 10th, 2008

I was extremely sadened today to read that singer/songwriter, diplomat and political activist Miriam Makeba, also known as Mama Afrika, died on November 9th after a performance in Italy. She raised awareness all over the globe through her music in the 50s and 60s. Upon being denied reentry into South Africa due to the subversive message of her songs, Makeba took refuge in many countries over the years, including the United States where she had risen to fame. Upon marrying Black Panther Stokely Carmichael in 1968, however, all her US tours were cancelled and the couple fled to Guinea, where Makeba served as that country’s ambassador to the United Nations, for which she recieved the Dag Hammarskjoeld Peace Prize in 1986. Nelson Mandela said it was befitting that Makeba died doing what she loved best, performing, and in that spirit I wanted to post these videos of her performances in her memory.



Akana Nkomo


When I\’ve Passed On