News

    Jazz Festival Pays Tribute to Late South African Singer Miriam Makeba

    The Cape Town International Jazz Festival took place late last month and played out to a sold-out crowd of more than 30 000 people. The festival featured 41 bands performing on five stages over the two nights. This year’s festival also featured a special “Tribute to Mama Africa” – to remember the music of Miriam Makeba.

    Multimedia

    Audio

    The Cape Town International Jazz Festival celebrated its 13th year at the city’s International Convention Centre.  It included a number of renowned American musicians such as James Ingram, Patti Austin, Lenny White, Allen Stone, Lauryn Hill and more. South African artists ranged from Hugh Masekela, Zahara, Lindiwe Suttle; Dorothy Masuka, Adam Glasser and Herbie Tsoaeli to name a few.

    South African musician Hugh Masekela
    South African musician Hugh Masekela

    Trumpeter and singer Hugh Masekela, who also performed last year, teamed up with three South African vocalists - Vusi Mahlasela, Thandiswa Mazwai, and Zolani Mahola - to present a musical tribute to the late African songstress Miriam Makeba.

    Hugh Masekela was the tribute's musical director.

    "Two or three years ago," he said, "we were playing at a South African festival in Toulouse in France. There was a cross-section of South African artists for the whole week, and they asked if we could put an impromptu tribute to her [Makeba]. So we rehearsed it on the afternoon of the performance and it just took the whole place by storm. Then there were requests for it all over Europe."

    After France, they toured Barcelona, London and Berlin, to sold-out shows, in 2011. This year was the first year the tribute to Miriam Makeba came to South Africa.

    "The very first person to really bring South Africa to the world’s attention was Miriam Makeba,"  said Masekela. "She invented us most musicians of today. She gave her life and a very lucrative career to talk about the struggles of Africa.

    "She raised money for liberation movements of schools, she sent me to school, she started  [the careers of South African musicians] Caiphus, Jonas Gwangwa’s and Letta Mbuli’s in the United States. There can never be another person like Miriam Makeba! Miriam Makeba is not only the patron saint of Africa, but there is no one individual that ever did as much for Africa as Miriam Makeba did."

    The tribute covered Makeba’s classics like "Soweto Blues", "Meet Me at the River", "Pata Pata" and many more. Crowds who had packed the Kippies auditorium at the festival sang along to almost all the Makeba renditions.

    This year's Cape Town International Jazz Festival included a tribute to "Mama Africa", the late legendary singer Miriam Makeba
    This year's Cape Town International Jazz Festival included a tribute to "Mama Africa", the late legendary singer Miriam Makeba

    Vusi Mahlasela is a South African musician who sings in various languages and formed part of this group paying tribute to the legendary performer.

    "Miriam did quite a lot of things for us here in South Africa," he said, "especially connecting with the world and also was able to embrace that spirit of Ubuntu [“humanity” or “sharing”], by learning other people’s languages and even to sing their languages as well. I got quite a lot of inspiration from that. We have that African idiom that says: ‘motho ke pulelo’ – meaning ‘a person is a language’ and she did that and that is what I am also choosing that in my work – singing in various languages and all."

    Miriam Makeba passed away on the 10th of November 2008. She last performed at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival in 2006 as part of her Grand Finale Tour.

    The Tribute to Mama Afrika wowed crowds also audiences at the Jazz Festival and is set to continue touring across the world, celebrating the life of Miriam Makeba.

     

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100% Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100% Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora