Activist-singer Miriam Makeba passes away

In 1963 (a year after Nelson Mandela was imprisoned), she testified before the UN and asked them to intervene, give black South Africans rights in their own country, release political prisoners. The UN did nothing and for her trouble, the white minority government stripped her of her South African citizenship.

She finally went back to South Africa after Nelson Mandela became its president. But by that time she was a citizen of the world. She contributed a huge talent to the universe and lived to see South Africa a democracy, Mandela free, and even the son of a Kenyan elected president of the United States.

According to reports, she fought for good causes until the very end, dying from a heart attack earlier today just minutes after performing her signature Pata Pata in Italy on behalf of a writer whose work exposed the mafia-like Camorra.

I’m not a big music buff, but the only singer I’ve heard who has anywhere near the chops of Makeba is Laura Love.

There are lots of YouTubes of Makeba from her long career, but I found many of them had less than acceptable audio. This shows a retrospective of album covers and still photos.

New York Times obituary