Remembering Miriam Makeba: 5 songs that defined the icon’s career

Remembering Miriam Makeba: 5 songs that defined the icon’s career

- Miriam Makeba was one of the most famous singers in Mzansi and the world

- She had global success with all of her songs and won countless awards

- The 9th of November is the 10th anniversary of Miriam’s death

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Miriam Makeba was one of the most legendary singers in South African history but sadly, the 9th of November marks the 10th anniversary of the songstress’ passing.

During her lifetime, Miriam won countless awards for her music and her activism which earned her the title of ‘Africa’s first superstar’.

While she went on to achieve greatness, the icon had a very difficult start in her life.

When she was only eighteen days old, Miriam’s mother was arrested and sentenced to six months in jail for illegally brewing beer. Because Miriam was so young at the time, she was forced to join her mother in prison.

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The 9th of November marks the 10th anniversary of Miriam Makeba's passing. Image credit: Getty Images

The 9th of November marks the 10th anniversary of Miriam Makeba's passing. Image credit: Getty Images

Miriam lost her father when she was 6 years old and twenty-two years later, her mother was killed in the Sharpeville Massacre.

According to South African History Online, the songstress’ musical talents were discovered when she was a child, but she only started on her path to stardom at the age of 21.

She began singing in her cousin’s band and the rest is pretty much history.

Briefly.co.za wanted to honour the late legend on the anniversary of her death by compiling a list of five of Miriam’s most iconic songs.

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1. The Click Song

While this song is a traditional song, Miriam’s rendition of it soon became a global success and she went on to record several different variations of it.

2. Pata Pata

To this day, ‘Pata Pata’ is still a hit and has been remixed countless times in recent years. Like ‘The Click Song’, this one was also a traditional Xhosa song that was commonly sung in shebeens.

3. Soweto Blues

Written by Hugh Masekela, Miriam featured on the protest song which was inspired by the Soweto uprising in 1976 where a number of South African students lost their lives.

4. The Retreat Song

This particular track was recorded in the 1950’s but regained popularity after it was featured in the international blockbuster, ‘Blood Diamond’.

5. Suliram

Inspired by an Indonesian lullaby, Miriam did her own interpretation of the song which was released in 1960.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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