Miriam Makeba, the singer and anti-apartheid activist died on November 9, in Castel Volturno, Italy.
I remember hearing Miriam's "Welela" album back in middle school. It was right around the time I really started to think about Apartheid in South Africa. It's so random, but I was thinking about her this past Saturday during a discussion of activism vs just keeping your life afloat.
Miriam played the role of the mother, Angelina, in the movie "Sarafina." There's a great scene where Sarafina, after looking down at her mother's lack of revolutionary fervor, suddenly realizes all the hard work that Angelina has put in, all the indignities she's suffered, just to keep her family together and fed. Sarafina finally realizes that she and her mother are both part of the struggle and she owes so much to her mother's strength. Miriam was amazing in the role, and I'm happy she lived long enough to see the fall of apartheid.
Here she is singing one of her signature songs, Pata Pata.