The late Miriam Makeba would have turned 89 today!

The Miriam Makeba Foundation is proud to announce the 89th Birthday of the Late Dr. Miriam Makeba on Thursday 4th March 2021. Our pride as the Foundation that bears her name, along with the Nation embraces this date to commemorate the birth of a true national treasure; the likes of which we had never seen, and are not likely to witness again. South Africa views this day through a lens that venerates and celebrates the life of our late Beloved Songstress Zenzile Miriam Makeba.

Our profound respect for the life of “Mama Africa” is rooted in the significance of the role she played in our nation’s history. Miriam Makeba’s pure vocal prowess enchanted audiences all over the country the moment they heard her sing. Once the world caught a glimpse of her innocent African Beauty and the voice weaving stories of our African narrative they were no different.

Trailblazing a path through African Townships in and around Johannesburg, the legend of Miriam Makeba was born, and the approaching inevitability to international exposure to a uniquely South African singing style only cemented the fact that young Miriam Makeba was a Songbird destined to spread her wings, and fly all over the world, using her God-given talents enthralling audiences wherever she went.

Listen to Miriam Makeba – Live at Berliner Jazztage, 1978 (feat. Dollar Brand Quartet)

The inherent humanity a young Miriam Makeba possessed was never in question. It was the expression of African Beauty and talent that the rest of the world had never associated with the African Continent. To say that she was a trailblazer was an understatement. Socially conscious, immensely talented, culturally comfortable, Miriam Makeba’s signature voice enchanted audiences all over the globe. Teaching us and reminding so many of us, in her inimitable way that, in essence, although the brutality of an Apartheid South Africa regime that she was born into, Miriam Makeba was uncompromising in addressing the fact that Man’s cruelty to another could never cancel out an essential reality we all live with. Specifically, that racism is ugly, dead-end hatred.

The ideals and values of the Late Dr. Miriam Makeba live in the Foundation which bears her name, and the Miriam Makeba Centre for Girls in Midrand. Giving expression to the deeply held beliefs Miriam Makeba embraced throughout her lifetime – specifically, that Women, especially young women deserve committed resources to empower those women that society has disempowered. What else captures the essence of who the Late Dr. Miriam Makeba was as a person? We would be hard-pressed to find an answer to that question.

Needless to say, the power of Mama Africa’s voice activates in so many of us, deep impacting memories, where our emotions have been easily touched because a lasting connection has been made that will last a lifetime and for generations to come.

About Author