Monday, November 10, 2008

A voice that is now an echo

Ms. Makeba wrote in 1987: “I kept my culture. I kept the music of my roots. Through my music I became this voice and image of Africa, and the people, without even realizing.”

She was married several times and her husbands included the American black activist Stokely Carmichael, with whom she lived in Guinea, and the jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela, who also spent many years in exile.

In the United States she became a star, touring with Harry Belafonte in the 1960s and winning a Grammy award with him in 1965. Such was her following and fame that she sang in 1962 at the birthday party of President John F. Kennedy. She also performed with Paul Simon on his Graceland concert in Zimbabwe in 1987.

But she fell afoul of the U.S. music industry because of her marriage to Mr. Carmichael and her decision to live in Guinea.
Take a listen to her song "Liwa Wechi" sometime... it's unforgettable.

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