The Queen of Africa: The Miriam Makeba Story Storyville


The Queen of Africa: The Miriam Makeba Story

Storyville: documentary which takes a look at the life of South African singer and civil rights activist Miriam Makeba, whose music delivered messages against racism and poverty.


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Transcript


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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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'Was born in Johannesburg.

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'She was the first of the great singers

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'from her country to bring South African music to the world.'

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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'They call her Mama Africa, the Queen of South African Music,

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'Miriam Makeba.'

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CHEERING

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MUSIC: "Soweto Blues" by Miriam Makeba

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# The children were flying

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# Bullets dying

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# The mothers screaming and crying

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-# The fathers were working in the city

-Ooh

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# The evening news brought out all the publicity

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# Just a little atrocity

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# Deep in the city

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# Soweto blues

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# Soweto blues

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# Soweto blues

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# Soweto blues... #

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My name happens to be Zenzile Makeba

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Qgwashu Nguvama Yiketheli Nxgowa Bantana Balomzi Xa Ufnu Ubajabulisa

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Ubaphekeli Mbiza Yotshwala Sithi Xa Saku Qgiba Ukutja Sithathe Izitsha

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Sizi Khabe Singama Lawu Singama Qgwashu Singama Nqamla Nqgithi.

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# Way up

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# High Up

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# Way up on Kilimanjaro

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# Resting when the drums are drumming

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# Time to go out hunting

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# Kilimanjaro

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# Da na-na-na-naa na-na

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# Kilim

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# Kilim Kilim Kilim Kill that savage lion

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# Before the lion kills you

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# Mmm-mm-mm-mmmmm... #

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My mother was caught brewing this African beer

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which we called umqombothi.

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And she was arrested.

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I was 18-days-old.

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She did the six months in jail with the baby.

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Me.

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# Kilim

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# Kilim Kilim Kilim

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# Kill that savage lion Before the lion kills you

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# Mm-mm mmm-mmm... #

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I've always liked music, since I was very young.

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And in 1952, I joined a group, they were not professional,

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but, singing with them around the country,

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I was heard by another group

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and they were already professional performers

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and they asked me to join them.

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And I sang with them for three years.

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One thing with Miriam, she had the kind of rendering

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some of the songs that she did with the most perfect feeling.

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If it was going to be a little, jazzy kind of thing,

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she used to be there.

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If it was going to be a sentimental song, she was ready.

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Miriam came on and sang with the Cuban Brothers

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and the 13 of us were up in the balcony

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and we were just completely mesmerised.

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Completely mesmerised. That was the first time I saw Miriam, 1953.

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And we were all madly in love with her, you know.

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She had such an impact on us, we were just blown away.

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MUSIC: "Tula Ndivile" by Miriam Makeba and The Manhattan Brothers

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And we were always saying, "Hey, there's Miriam Makeba."

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And she was, her and The Skylarks were just,

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like, the meanest dressers.

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I mean, they were the best dressed women in the country.

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Er, erm.

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And they wore, like, very high heels and they just, like,

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nobody looked like them.

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Even Marilyn Monroe couldn't get anywhere near them.

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The Skylarks was more for recording. It was Gallo Records' baby.

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It was during the era of the girl groups, you know,

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all those girl groups from America.

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Because, during that time,

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our music was very much influenced by the American music industry.

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Songs that were a hit in America,

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they would give those songs to sing them in Zulu or in Sotho.

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And she was very professional.

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When it came to rehearsals or performances or dressing up,

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she would say to you, "You look good on stage and off stage.

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"You respect yourself on stage and off stage,

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"so that the people can respect you."

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Miriam never studied music, it was just natural talent.

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But I think because, before she left the country,

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she had been surrounded by all these great musicians,

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South African jazz giants, Gwangwa, Hugh, Makete.

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THEY SING IN AFRICAN LANGUAGE

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I love this place and, besides being the political Mecca

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of South Africa, I mean, Mandela is here, was here.

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Here was the PAC, the president of the PAC.

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And Zulu up there. And Tutu down there.

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Most of the politicians come from this, Orlando West.

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This was like the Mecca, this was blacks only.

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They used to pack this place up.

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You know, where all the groups would perform The Manhattan Brothers,

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Miriam Makeba, Dolly Rathebe, The Skylarks, of course.

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ABIGAIL SINGS IN AFRICAN LANGUAGE

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CHEERING

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There used to be a very beautiful nightclub in Eloff Street

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in Johannesburg.

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I mean, exclusive, that was for the bourgeois, you know,

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the real McCoys of this town.

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Many people, you know, the hot and lot people.

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So we would go in and perform to these people.

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Through our kitchen doors, with their little, nice glitteries.

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And you'd go through this kitchen and onto the stage,

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finish your singing, through the same way, out you'd go.

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Back to the township or then we used to have friends,

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white friends, who used to invite us to their homes.

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You'd go into the car, then you'd squat down

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so that the policeman doesn't see the black woman in this car.

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Then, when you get to the house, they cover you up,

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you enter the house, the curtains are drawn,

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the music is played very low and the party goes on, you know.

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And if somebody reports it to the police and says,

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"I think there are some black girls in there."

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You quickly jump into somewhere

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and put on the uniform, you know, the apron and things like that.

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And then the people would say, "You mean, she... Oh, yeah, yeah.

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"She's, she's our servant, you know, she works here."

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And so that used to be the kind of life.

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I did a show called African Jazz And Variety and while doing this,

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we were performing at the Johannesburg City Hall,

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which was the first time that we were allowed to perform in the city

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and to white audiences as black Africans.

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While we were there, an American came to South Africa.

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His name was Lionel Rogosin, from New York.

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He came there to make a film. He wanted to a music travelogue.

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THE BAND PLAYS

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He would film certain things that showed

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the life of the African in South Africa, living under Apartheid

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which is segregation.

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And he smuggled those films out and he asked me to sing in this film.

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I sang two songs.

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SHE SINGS IN AFRICAN LANGUAGE

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CHEERING

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She left in early 1959 to go to the Venice Film Festival.

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The government didn't know, but as soon as that film won,

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Miriam was immediately banned.

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But her mother used to bring Bongi Lee

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to prepare for Bongi to go and join Miriam

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who was already in New York by then and had big success.

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This is Mofolo Village in Soweto.

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And this is the house where Miriam lived with her family.

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There was no wall, it was a four-roomed house like that one.

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It was an ordinary four-roomed house.

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I remember when I came when Miriam left,

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and then she sent for Bongi, we took her away to the airport.

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And her mother Christina was very sad.

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She was really affected by Bongi's,

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I mean, she was affected by Miriam's because, and especially,

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when she learnt that Miriam was never going to be allowed back

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into this country.

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# Goodbye, Mother

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# Goodbye, Father

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# And to you, my little baby

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# Goodbye

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# Until we meet again

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# Farewell, dear friends

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# I am leaving

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# May the good Lord Be with you all... #

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Miriam Makeba, of course I remember her.

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She played here December 1959.

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PHONE RINGS

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Ooh, le telefono. Can I answer the phone?

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Village Vanguard. Reser... For when?

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Next Sunday at nine o'clock, OK. May I have your last name?

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OK, thank you.

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December '59, she was here, for a couple of weeks.

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And then she came back in January 1960.

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Yes, she was here.

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For the first time, Miriam Makeba came to New York City,

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as far as I know.

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A man made the movie, Lionel Rogosin, called Come Back, Africa,

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which played in the neighbourhood.

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And it was a beautiful movie, we all saw it.

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But, in order for her to come to this country,

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she had to have a job and to work.

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And Lionel Rogosin came to my husband Max Gordon,

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who had the Vanguard.

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He said, "Would you like to give the room to Miriam Makeba

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"so she could perform."

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And my husband loved the movie, he said, "Oh, yes, absolutely."

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Miriam was a phenomenon. You know, the...

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SHE CLICKS

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And we were all doing clicking all night.

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CLICK CLICK

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Click away.

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And then, a gentleman came down, among others, to hear her,

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named Harry Belafonte.

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And he fell in love with her too.

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Well, Harry was much more powerful than we were.

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And so he whisked her away from Lionel Rogosin

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and my husband Max Gordon, took her away.

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If I were Miriam I would have gone with Harry.

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I mean, he had a whole tour arranged for her. He promoted her.

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It's his culture as well. He made a big thing out of that.

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PHONE RINGS

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Oh, pardonnez-moi.

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For the last three years, I have made two trips around the world.

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And, on both occasions, I was privileged to perform

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in most of the major capitals.

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While in these countries, I talked with

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and performed with many, many other artists.

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Some of them were wonderful, such as the artist you're about to see now,

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a young lady from South Africa, Miss Miriam Makeba.

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APPLAUSE

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MUSIC: "Love Tastes Like Strawberries"

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# I met my love in the market place

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# My heart stopped When I saw his face

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# The berry man cried Won't you try this?

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# We looked, we bought We stole a kiss

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# The berries are gone And the spring has passed

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# But I know my love will always last

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# The rain has come with sudden haste

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# Love's got a fresh strawberry taste

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# Hey, hey, hey-hey, yeah

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# Mmm, yeah, yeah, yeah, ye-ye-yeah

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# Mmm

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# Yeah, yeah-yeah, yeah Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

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# Mmmm. #

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WHISTLING AND APPLAUSE

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She did a few records in America.

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And I actually asked if there was a possibility for her,

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to be able to feature with herself in America.

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But it was, it seemed, it was not going to be possible

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because Harry Belafonte and people like that were on the scene.

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And I was quite disappointed

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that even my dear Miriam had to allow that.

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Because I would have thought, you know, she would have insisted

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that, "These are the people I want, you know, to back me."

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But it was not possible.

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SINGS IN AFRICAN LANGUAGE

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The kind of people she surrounded herself with,

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such as Kwame Ture also known as Stokely Carmichael,

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Mr Harry Belafonte as well, er, they always gave her advice

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and they always said, "Never forget where you came from."

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You know, that was always something she always had engraved in her mind,

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to always remember where she was from.

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You know, my brother,

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there's no faster way you can send a message than a song.

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So Miriam spoke and Miriam sang

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about what was happening in this part of the world.

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And, really, in her little way, as the people think it was little,

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it was mighty because the people that heard her say these things

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began to want to know what is really happening around South Africa.

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Khawuleza is a South African song, it comes from the townships,

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locations, reservations, whichever, near the cities of South Africa.

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Where all the black South Africans live.

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The children shout from the streets as they see police cars coming

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to raid their homes for one thing or another.

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They say, "Khawuleza mama." Which simply means, "Hurry, Mama.

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"Please, please, don't let them catch you."

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# Khawuleza mama Khawuleza mam

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# Khawuleza mama Khawuleza mama

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# Khawulez mama She Shi Za Wo... #

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But there's one statement she always phrased.

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She always said, "I do not sing politics, I merely sing the truth."

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# Naa Gama Poyee Za Zu

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# Kelenene Mama Patti Khawuleza ma

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# Naa Gawa Poyee Za Zu Kelenene Mama Patti Khawuleza ma

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# Junga Junga Junga Yo Khawuleza mama eyayee mama

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# Khawuleza mama

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# Junga Junga Junga Yo Khawuleza mama eyayee mama

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# Khawuleza mama, Khawuleza mama Khawuleza mama

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# M Eyoy Khawuleza, Khawuleza mama Khawuleza mama, Khawuleza mama

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# M Eyoy, Khawuleza. #

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She was the first African artist ever

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that spoke at the United Nations.

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And asked for the boycott of South Africa.

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I mean, it took guts to do that in the '60s.

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The story of the shootings at Sharpeville

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is well-known throughout the world.

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Indeed, all men and women of good will all over the world

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raised their voices in anger on that occasion.

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But all these protests just fell on deaf ears.

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Since Sharpeville, many terrible things have occurred in my country.

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Our political parties were declared illegal

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and the leaders were forced to go underground.

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Some 5,000 people have, in recent months, been put behind prison bars.

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Among those who have been jailed and detained or restricted

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are many of our prominent leaders, which include

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Nelson Mandela, Mrs Lillian Ngoyi

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and, only last week, Mr Walter Sisulu.

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Indeed, Mr Chairman and distinguished members,

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my country has been turned into a huge prison.

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This, therefore, does not leave us with any option

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but to ask the United Nations to take positive action

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against the South African government,

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calling for a complete boycott on South Africa

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and, especially, the sending of arms by outside powers to South Africa.

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Thank you.

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She was pleading for humanity. She wasn't pleading for...

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She wasn't dividing, she was unifying.

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She was known as the flame of unity and cultural diversity.

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She read a speech which really damned

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the South African government even further.

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At that time, I think she felt much stronger about it

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because she couldn't come back to come and bury her mother

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who had died shortly after she'd left.

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My records, for instance, have been banned

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since 1962 in South Africa, they don't sell them anymore.

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People who have them just have to play them privately

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and hope that nobody, er, that shouldn't hear them, hears them.

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So then she was banned for the second time.

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MUSIC: "Mama Afrika" by Miriam Makeba

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When I came to New York, Bongi had just come, a few months before me

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and I was going to Manhattan School of Music,

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so I was living with Bongi because Miriam was on the road all the time.

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I think, to a certain extent,

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that's why our marriage didn't work,

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because we were more like brother and sister than...

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We were more like siblings.

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MUSIC: "Mama Afrika" by Miriam Makeba

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The next real big moment was the first time we went to Africa.

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We landed on the tarmac and when the door opened...

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and all this fresh smell of Africa came up at me.

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-Yeah. I remember that feeling.

-That was such a dynamic thing.

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You know, I mean, if...

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That, that I just can't describe.

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I mean, we did quite a bit of this, you know, caravan.

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At one period, we got stuck in the mud.

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You know, we were going through this field,

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we were going through a field rather than just being on a road.

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But then, Africa's Africa,

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so the point is to get from here to there.

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And so we got stuck in the mud, but she was trying to help,

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she was trying to tell them how to do this.

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MUSIC: "Pata Pata" by Miriam Makeba

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# Saguquga sathi bega nantsi Pata Pata

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# Saguquga sathi bega nantsi Pata Pata

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# Saguquga sathi bega nantsi Pata Pata

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# Saguquga sathi bega nantsi Pata Pata

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# Hiyo mama hiyo ma nantsi Pata Pata

0:25:190:25:22

# Hiyo mama hiyo ma nantsi Pata Pata

0:25:220:25:26

# Hiyo mama hiyo ma nantsi Pata Pata

0:25:260:25:31

# Hiyo mama hiyo ma nantsi Pata Pata

0:25:310:25:34

# Saguquga sathi bega nantsi Pata Pata

0:25:340:25:37

# Saguquga sathi bega nantsi Pata Pata

0:25:370:25:41

# Saguquga sathi bega nantsi Pata Pata

0:25:410:25:45

# Saguquga sathi bega nantsi Pata Pata...

0:25:450:25:49

Pata Pata is the name of a dance we do down Johannesburg-way.

0:25:490:25:57

And everybody starts to move as soon as Pata Pata starts to play.

0:25:570:26:04

# Aya sat wuguga sat Pata Pata

0:26:040:26:07

# Aya sat wuguga sat Pata Pata

0:26:070:26:11

# Aya sat wuguga sat

0:26:110:26:14

# Aya sat wuguga sat Oooh

0:26:140:26:18

# Hiyo mama hiyo ma nantsi Pata Pata

0:26:180:26:22

# Hiyo mama hiyo ma nantsi Pata Pata

0:26:220:26:25

# Hiyo mama hiyo ma nantsi Pata Pata

0:26:250:26:28

# Hiyo mama hiyo ma nantsi Pata Pata...

0:26:280:26:32

Every Fridays and Saturday nights, it's Pata Pata time. Woo.

0:26:320:26:39

The music keeps going all night long

0:26:390:26:42

till the morning sun begins to shine. Hey!

0:26:420:26:45

# Aya sat wuguga sat Wo-ho-o

0:26:450:26:49

# Aya sat wuguga sat Wo-ho-o

0:26:490:26:52

# Aya sat wuguga sat Wo-ho-o

0:26:520:26:55

# Aya sat wuguga sat Wo-ho-o

0:26:550:26:59

# Hiyo mama hiyo ma nantsi Pata Pata

0:26:590:27:03

# Hiyo mama hiyo ma nantsi Pata Pata

0:27:030:27:06

# Hiyo mama hiyo ma nantsi Pata Pata

0:27:060:27:09

# Hiyo mama hiyo ma nantsi Pata Pata. #

0:27:090:27:15

THEY SPEAK IN FRENCH

0:27:170:27:19

..which has a deep meaning.

0:27:380:27:41

I would have preferred another song to be popular than Pata Pata.

0:27:410:27:46

But then people choose what they want, so...

0:27:460:27:49

A lot of the places, especially in Africa, that we went to,

0:27:490:27:51

she was treated like royalty.

0:27:510:27:53

Well, that's true. That's true. And, actually she really was.

0:27:530:27:57

You know, the streets were lined with people for miles

0:27:570:28:00

and, periodically, we had to stop so she could greet people.

0:28:000:28:04

And they also had presents for her.

0:28:040:28:08

She went to Tanzania.

0:28:080:28:09

And the president of Tanzania at that time, Julius Nyerere,

0:28:090:28:14

was a believer in African people regaining the language

0:28:140:28:19

and teaching the language in school with other languages.

0:28:190:28:23

And the fact that Miriam always sung

0:28:240:28:26

in so many different African languages pleased Mr Nyerere.

0:28:260:28:30

She heard Malaika and she learnt it.

0:28:310:28:34

And she recorded it.

0:28:340:28:36

# Malaika

0:28:380:28:42

# Nakupenda Malaika

0:28:420:28:48

# Malaika

0:28:480:28:52

# Nakupenda Malaika

0:28:520:28:57

# Ningekuoa mali we

0:28:570:29:02

# Ningekuoa dada

0:29:020:29:08

# Nashindwa na mali sina we

0:29:080:29:14

# Ningekuoa Malaika

0:29:140:29:18

# Nashindwa na mali sina we

0:29:180:29:24

# Ningekuoa Malaika. #

0:29:240:29:28

-Bravo.

-Thank you, sir. Merci.

-Merci beaucoup.

0:29:280:29:33

She went to all the camps, you know, in Morgoro,

0:29:330:29:36

and in Zambia and in Tanzania. Erm.

0:29:360:29:41

She'd find students all over the world.

0:29:410:29:44

And whatever she'd earned in that country,

0:29:440:29:45

she'd just, like, make sure that they were OK.

0:29:450:29:48

All her life, she did that.

0:29:480:29:50

I ask you, and all the leaders of the world,

0:29:500:29:54

would you act differently, would you keep silent and do nothing,

0:29:540:29:59

if you were in our place?

0:29:590:30:01

Would you not resist

0:30:010:30:02

if you are not allowed no rights in your own country

0:30:020:30:06

because the colour of your skin is different to that of the rulers

0:30:060:30:10

and if you're punished for even asking for equality?

0:30:100:30:14

I appeal to you, and through you to all the countries of the world,

0:30:140:30:19

to do everything you can to stop the coming tragedy.

0:30:190:30:23

She was the glue between all the presidents,

0:30:230:30:26

everybody just like idealised her.

0:30:260:30:28

Sekou Toure of Guinea, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya,

0:30:280:30:33

Julius Nyerere of Tanzania,

0:30:330:30:35

just being crazy about her.

0:30:350:30:39

Houphouet-Boigny of Ivory Coast,

0:30:390:30:42

Leopold Senghor of Senegal,

0:30:420:30:44

these were all people who were just so close to her.

0:30:440:30:48

I have never known anybody in history, or at any other time,

0:30:480:30:52

who had such close ties with every African president.

0:30:520:30:57

When you see an individual white boy,

0:30:570:31:00

you're not afraid of that individual white boy.

0:31:000:31:03

What you are afraid of is the power that he represents!

0:31:030:31:08

Because, behind him stands the local police force,

0:31:080:31:11

the state militia, the Army, the Navy, the air force!

0:31:110:31:16

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

0:31:160:31:17

When you see an African, there is no power behind him.

0:31:190:31:24

There is no-one speaking for his interest.

0:31:240:31:28

There is no one to protect him.

0:31:280:31:31

APPLAUSE

0:31:310:31:32

Stokely Carmichael, was a very bright student from New York.

0:31:320:31:35

His family came from the Caribbean.

0:31:350:31:37

He went to Howard University,

0:31:370:31:40

which is a prestigious black university in Washington DC.

0:31:400:31:44

He went there in 1960, a year in which tremendous political focus

0:31:440:31:50

was on Africa, on independence of African countries.

0:31:500:31:53

After King's assassination and Malcolm's assassination,

0:31:530:31:56

Stokely became sort of the firebrand black leader.

0:31:560:32:00

At some point in the visit to Guinea,

0:32:000:32:04

maybe a subsequent visit, I'm not sure, Miriam and Stokely met,

0:32:040:32:08

when Miriam was there as a guest of

0:32:080:32:10

Sekou Toure, the president.

0:32:100:32:14

We want black power.

0:32:140:32:16

We want black power.

0:32:160:32:19

We want black power.

0:32:190:32:21

We want black power.

0:32:210:32:22

We want black power.

0:32:220:32:25

We want black power.

0:32:250:32:27

We want black power.

0:32:270:32:28

Stokely was extraordinarily charming.

0:32:280:32:31

Very, very articulate, had a wonderful, amazing smile

0:32:310:32:36

and lots of humour

0:32:360:32:40

and is very incisive.

0:32:400:32:42

Many people didn't agree with him

0:32:440:32:46

but, I think, it would be hard to find many people don't like him.

0:32:460:32:49

The Caribbean is full of black people

0:32:490:32:53

and our mother continent, Africa, there is to be found millions

0:32:530:32:57

and millions and millions and millions of black people.

0:32:570:33:00

Black power means all of these millions and millions

0:33:000:33:05

and millions and millions

0:33:050:33:07

and millions of black people coming together to form black power.

0:33:070:33:13

The entire mass media of America,

0:33:160:33:19

the entire mass media of America came against Nick and against black power.

0:33:190:33:23

They did every possible thing to destroy the concept

0:33:230:33:26

and were incapable of doing it.

0:33:260:33:27

We're not going to win this struggle today.

0:33:330:33:35

We're not going to win it tomorrow. This is a struggle,

0:33:350:33:37

this is a long struggle.

0:33:370:33:39

We're fighting a struggle that has been taking place for 500 years

0:33:390:33:42

and even way beyond that.

0:33:420:33:44

We're just a small part of that struggle.

0:33:440:33:46

We have to find what our mission is,

0:33:530:33:56

what the mission of this generation is and do that and do it perfect,

0:33:560:33:59

properly, correctly, thoroughly and completely.

0:33:590:34:02

There is nothing, nothing we cannot do.

0:34:150:34:18

All we got to do is what honourable Marcus Garvey said,

0:34:180:34:20

"Heat up, and do it!"

0:34:200:34:22

Well, mighty race up now, you're a mighty race.

0:34:220:34:24

The day after, the day after they were married,

0:35:070:35:11

which is your honeymoon.

0:35:110:35:12

This is the time to be celebrating.

0:35:120:35:14

The day after, she discovered

0:35:140:35:18

that all her concert dates in the United States had been cancelled.

0:35:180:35:23

I remember being in a car with Stokely

0:35:230:35:25

and he phoned up to the FBI and said,

0:35:250:35:29

"I'm leaving now, I'll be back at such and such a time."

0:35:290:35:34

They were always right there, where they lived.

0:35:340:35:39

We have problems everywhere.

0:35:390:35:40

Sometimes people send us threatening letters

0:35:400:35:44

and some send very vulgar letters and tell us to get out of here.

0:35:440:35:50

We're always, there's nowhere to run.

0:35:500:35:53

We just have to stay wherever we are and fight to liberate ourselves.

0:35:540:36:00

Some people here say you've lost something of your popularity

0:36:150:36:19

back in the United States.

0:36:190:36:20

They don't buy your records so much as before. Would do you say to that?

0:36:200:36:24

-That's not true.

-That's not true?

-No.

0:36:240:36:28

I wouldn't say I've lost my popularity.

0:36:300:36:32

There is a boycott on my records on the part of radio stations

0:36:340:36:40

but I don't think I'll ever lose my popularity with the people.

0:36:400:36:45

Why this boycott?

0:36:450:36:47

I don't know, they all give different reasons.

0:36:470:36:50

-Is that because of your marriage to Stokely Carmichael?

-Yes.

0:36:500:36:53

And you, Mr Carmichael, what are you going to do?

0:36:530:36:59

I'm just going to be with my wife.

0:36:590:37:00

Have you plans for any activity of such?

0:37:000:37:03

No, I'm just going to look and listen.

0:37:030:37:05

The greatest paradox of Miriam's life, for me,

0:37:050:37:08

is that she was very close to Golda Meir,

0:37:080:37:10

who was crazy about her until 1967, when she was married to Stokely,

0:37:100:37:15

and he said something about Israel.

0:37:150:37:18

The next day you couldn't find her records in the stores

0:37:180:37:20

and she was just iced in the States and, I think,

0:37:200:37:24

that very week she just, you know,

0:37:240:37:28

Sekou Toure just said, "Hey, you have a home in Guinea."

0:37:280:37:32

That's when she went to Guinea.

0:37:320:37:34

Because Stokely was so outspoken,

0:37:530:37:56

a lot of people, at that time, cancelled my shows,

0:37:560:38:00

saying they can't feed the hand that bites them.

0:38:000:38:04

So I left and went to Guinea with Stokely.

0:38:040:38:08

We were married for ten years.

0:38:080:38:10

He was doing the Pan African movement and the one common goal

0:38:150:38:19

was what they had together during that era.

0:38:190:38:21

She felt she was part of that

0:38:210:38:23

and she was a soldier in any aspect,

0:38:230:38:26

in terms of transferring the message of unity,

0:38:260:38:30

Africa and just many other aspects of the continent.

0:38:300:38:33

She was always there.

0:38:330:38:35

HE SPEAKS IN FRENCH

0:38:350:38:36

HE SPEAKS IN FRENCH

0:38:430:38:44

Our next artist is one of the most magnificent talents of our time

0:39:230:39:26

and I take pleasure in introducing to you,

0:39:260:39:29

sister Miriam Makeba Carmichael.

0:39:290:39:31

APPLAUSE

0:39:310:39:34

Probably everybody wants to know how Stokely is?

0:39:340:39:36

LAUGHTER

0:39:360:39:38

He is well.

0:39:390:39:40

He is alive and well in Conakry.

0:39:400:39:44

Do you see any difference in the way that this government,

0:39:440:39:46

I say dealing with the government,

0:39:460:39:48

the way this government approaches you as a black African coming here

0:39:480:39:51

and the way that the South African government is approaching

0:39:510:39:55

black entertainers. Do you see any similarities, any differences?

0:39:550:39:59

I always say the only difference between South Africa

0:39:590:40:02

and America is very slight.

0:40:020:40:04

Erm...

0:40:050:40:07

And that is South Africa admits that they are what they are.

0:40:070:40:13

APPLAUSE

0:40:130:40:15

In a way you know who to deal with.

0:40:210:40:26

So, you don't have to be guessing.

0:40:260:40:29

You have a couple of children?

0:40:290:40:31

I have one child, she is 20 and she has two children.

0:40:310:40:35

-Her name is Bongi.

-Wow!

0:40:350:40:37

She writes some of my songs.

0:40:370:40:39

APPLAUSE

0:40:390:40:41

-That's marvellous.

-She writes some of my songs.

0:40:410:40:43

She has a little boy whom she named Lumumba

0:40:430:40:46

and she wrote a song about him

0:40:460:40:48

and now she has a little girl whom she's named after me.

0:40:480:40:51

-She called the little girl, Zenzi.

-Oh, wow!

0:40:510:40:53

That's my closer name.

0:40:530:40:55

You know, it's been almost 24 years, I've not been here.

0:40:580:41:02

Conakry will always remain as home to myself and my sister, Zenzi.

0:41:020:41:08

Our mother was buried here and my brother was buried here,

0:41:080:41:12

and the late great, Kwame Toure also known as Stokely Carmichael.

0:41:120:41:16

It's the hospitality of the people,

0:41:160:41:19

as I said, I will cherish that for the rest of my life.

0:41:190:41:21

It wasn't about the outlook of what the place looked like,

0:41:210:41:24

not the superficial look and all of that.

0:41:240:41:27

It was basically about true human relation,

0:41:270:41:31

brotherhood, sisterhood, etc.

0:41:310:41:34

We used to run around barefoot, you know.

0:41:340:41:37

Somehow I feel that that energy went into our feet, you know,

0:41:370:41:41

and it always had us coming back here.

0:41:410:41:43

We just kept coming back, coming back

0:41:430:41:45

and to my grandmother, as well,

0:41:450:41:48

being so far away from home over 32 years,

0:41:480:41:52

there was no other place that she could call home but this place.

0:41:520:41:56

# Igqira lendlela

0:43:320:43:35

# Nguqo ngqothwane

0:43:350:43:38

# Igqira lendlela

0:43:380:43:41

# Nguqo ngqothwane

0:43:410:43:43

# Igqira lendlela... #

0:43:430:43:45

When the late great Ahmed Sekou Toure

0:43:450:43:49

asked Mama Miriam Makeba,

0:43:490:43:52

"Out of Guinea what region would you like to have a house?

0:43:520:43:56

"Where do you feel mostly at home?" She mentioned Dalaba.

0:43:560:43:59

This were the first people who had welcomed Mama.

0:45:150:45:19

Hospitality...

0:45:190:45:21

They used to be at the house. You know, this was back in the '70s.

0:45:210:45:25

There is a particular sight that you see of the landscape,

0:45:250:45:29

which looks extremely similar to South Africa.

0:45:290:45:32

We would always go round this mountain.

0:45:320:45:35

She would always say, "I miss home so much. This reminds me so much of home."

0:45:350:45:39

CHILDREN SING

0:45:410:45:42

This is the master room.

0:46:130:46:16

There's a picture of my mother,

0:46:160:46:21

who passed on on March 17, 1985.

0:46:210:46:25

Very young. She was only 35-years-old.

0:46:250:46:28

This is where the porch was, and it's still here.

0:46:320:46:36

This is where the musicians would rehearse.

0:46:360:46:39

She would sing and sing.

0:46:390:46:41

SHE SINGS

0:46:420:46:44

My grandmother telling me that, "There's nothing special about me,

0:47:360:47:39

"I just love what I do and I do what I do.

0:47:390:47:42

"I do it for a bigger cause, for a bigger purpose."

0:47:420:47:45

She loved happiness, she used to have parties.

0:47:450:47:49

Just everybody she loved to have get-togethers.

0:47:490:47:52

You could never come to my grandmother's house

0:47:520:47:54

and there's not food. She taught me that too.

0:47:540:47:57

She said, "Zenzi, when you cook, even if you're broke,

0:47:570:48:00

"you must always have food. When you have food, even if it's just a little piece of food,

0:48:000:48:04

"or one piece of bread, when people come to visit you,

0:48:040:48:07

"you must always have a piece for somebody."

0:48:070:48:09

This is a song that was written by my little girl.

0:49:430:49:47

It was in Mozambique that I first heard the words in Portuguese

0:49:470:49:53

"A Luta Continua."

0:49:530:49:56

When I came back I told Bongi all what I saw.

0:49:560:49:59

I said, "Write me a song." She wrote this song.

0:49:590:50:02

We have the habit of dedicating it to the people of Mozambique

0:50:020:50:05

and to the party, FRELIMO,

0:50:050:50:08

and to the beloved, Samora Machel.

0:50:080:50:12

# Maputo, Maputo

0:50:160:50:19

# Home of the brave

0:50:190:50:20

# Our nation will soon be as one

0:50:200:50:25

# Frelimo, Frelimo, Samora Machel

0:50:250:50:28

# Samora Machal has won... #

0:50:280:50:33

She wrote some of Miriam's biggest songs.

0:50:410:50:44

You know, Quit It, Mozambique,

0:50:440:50:48

A Luta Continua, West wind.

0:50:480:50:51

We are supposed to be four.

0:51:260:51:27

My two other brothers passed away, so they are buried in Guinea.

0:51:270:51:32

Nobody knows what he put in his mouth. What happened to him.

0:51:420:51:46

And she had to help that boy, running around to ask for help

0:51:480:51:53

and the boy was already dead.

0:51:530:51:54

And she is the one that have to tell her daughter, "Your son die."

0:51:540:51:58

I mean when you're a grandmother,

0:52:100:52:12

you're not supposed to bury your grandson.

0:52:120:52:15

You're not even supposed to bury your own child when you are a mother.

0:52:150:52:19

The day she passed away, when I heard she passed away,

0:52:320:52:35

I cried like a little baby.

0:52:350:52:37

But, erm, she was just an amazing talent.

0:52:370:52:42

A talent that was never got to be known.

0:52:420:52:45

Everything was sudden.

0:52:460:52:48

It took a long time for them to acknowledge to us

0:52:480:52:51

that she had passed because we were quite young, we were kids,

0:52:510:52:54

and I think they didn't want to let us know during our trip,

0:52:540:52:58

coming out here, that she had passed.

0:52:580:53:00

I remember suppressing my feelings.

0:53:000:53:03

I remember getting to America to go and see my dad

0:53:030:53:08

because my dad called for us, when my mum passed away.

0:53:080:53:13

I remember only a year later, like nine months later,

0:53:130:53:18

finally crying cos my mum passed away.

0:53:180:53:21

My dad came and found me crying in a closet.

0:53:210:53:23

It was hard. It was hard for any mother.

0:53:230:53:26

It was one of the greatest tragedies, I think, of her life.

0:53:260:53:30

I think, she never was really the same after that. She was stunned.

0:53:300:53:37

We were quite close, we had nobody else out here.

0:53:370:53:41

She had me, I had her.

0:53:420:53:44

# Three flights up in the rear

0:53:460:53:50

# To where my childhood days were spent

0:53:500:53:56

# It wasn't much like paradise

0:53:580:54:01

# but amid the dirt... #

0:54:010:54:05

She was the grandmother that came in New York,

0:54:050:54:07

when I was a little kid.

0:54:070:54:10

I'd pack my bags to want to leave and go off with her.

0:54:100:54:13

She spoiled me as a grandmother.

0:54:130:54:15

You know, but at the same time, she realised my mother

0:54:150:54:17

was no longer there and she was taking a role,

0:54:170:54:20

a double kind of role.

0:54:200:54:23

# Oh

0:54:230:54:29

# My wonderful mamma... '

0:54:290:54:33

Music is a healing. She talked to me about that.

0:54:330:54:36

As you know, my great-grandmother, her mother was a Sangoma.

0:54:360:54:40

My grandmother was also a Sangoma.

0:54:400:54:43

My mother was a Sangoma.

0:54:430:54:45

I have the same thing, that's what I've been told,

0:54:450:54:49

by the family, by her.

0:54:490:54:52

Sangoma, is Ingoma, as well, it's a song.

0:54:520:54:55

You know, they sometimes say, you don't have to be...

0:54:550:54:59

You become a healer and do something else, but healing people.

0:54:590:55:05

So Miriam was a healer through her music.

0:55:050:55:10

Not through herbs, like her mother was.

0:55:100:55:12

Her mother did it with herbs and she did it with her music.

0:55:120:55:16

So when my record company posted me to Brussels to go and work there,

0:57:360:57:41

I suddenly heard that she was in town.

0:57:410:57:43

I was so happy, that, you know.

0:57:450:57:47

And she came to the studios to see us work

0:57:470:57:50

and I had some of my colleagues from South Africa.

0:57:500:57:53

Every day, without fail, she would bring us food to the studio.

0:57:550:57:59

Or, she would invite us to her place.

0:58:000:58:02

She's a person that went through a lot of pain,

0:58:020:58:05

but, jeez, when she took that microphone and she's on stage,

0:58:050:58:08

the pain is gone.

0:58:080:58:10

The pain is gone, and all she does is to just give to people

0:58:100:58:16

and that it is the thing that,

0:58:160:58:19

for me, is the essence of Miriam Makeba.

0:58:190:58:22

In 1959 she began a world tour.

0:58:220:58:26

And when she attempted to return home one year later

0:58:260:58:31

she was refused re-admittance.

0:58:310:58:33

She has been a political exile now for 27 years.

0:58:330:58:37

Miriam Makeba.

0:58:370:58:39

# There was a full moon on the golden city

0:58:480:58:53

# Knocking at the door was the man without pity

0:58:530:59:00

# Accusing everyone of conspiracy

0:59:000:59:05

# Tightening the curfew charging people with walking

0:59:050:59:09

# Yes, the border is where he was waiting

0:59:090:59:15

# Waiting for the children frightened and running

0:59:150:59:20

# A handful got away, but all the others

0:59:220:59:26

# Are in the jail without any publicity

0:59:260:59:31

# Just a little atrocity

0:59:310:59:36

# Deep in the city

0:59:380:59:43

# Soweto blues

0:59:430:59:46

# Soweto blues

0:59:480:59:51

# Soweto blues

0:59:540:59:57

# Soweto blues

0:59:591:00:04

# They are killing all the children

1:00:081:00:12

-# Without any publicity

-Soweto blues

1:00:121:00:18

# Well, they are finishing the nation

1:00:181:00:22

# Soweto blues

1:00:221:00:24

# While calling it black on black

1:00:241:00:28

# Momma, Soweto blues

1:00:321:00:36

# Yeah, Momma

1:00:361:00:38

# Soweto blues. #

1:00:381:00:45

I wish to live in my country as a human being.

1:00:461:00:51

Free...of all the ugliness we have gone through.

1:00:521:00:57

I remember coming back home,

1:00:571:01:01

she and Hugh took me to the airport.

1:01:011:01:05

The first thing she said to me,

1:01:051:01:08

do I ever think she's ever going to come home.

1:01:081:01:10

It was one of those most poignant moments and very painful.

1:01:121:01:18

I remember that vividly.

1:01:181:01:20

There we were at the airport, she was staying behind,

1:01:201:01:24

I was going back home, and Hugh Masekela was going to New York.

1:01:241:01:29

I stood there alone, I was almost in tears because I knew that

1:01:291:01:33

if they had wished to, if they could, we could all fly back home.

1:01:331:01:39

And I said, "Soon."

1:01:391:01:41

'I like that song'

1:01:411:01:43

that you sing that goes, promise...

1:01:431:01:46

# It is a promise I'm making to you

1:01:461:01:50

# It's a promise I promise to keep this day

1:01:501:01:56

# Be my lover, be my darling... # What else is it?

1:01:581:02:03

# Love should never ever be far away

1:02:031:02:08

-BOTH:

-# Come and give me your love

1:02:081:02:12

# That you are hiding. #

1:02:121:02:15

# Come and give me your love

1:02:161:02:20

# That you're hiding

1:02:201:02:22

# I will keep it burning for ever... #

1:02:221:02:30

The only thing that makes me to be able to go on living

1:02:341:02:41

with this pain that I feel from being away from my home

1:02:411:02:47

is the fact that I know I will go home someday soon.

1:02:471:02:55

# ..I will never leave you, ever

1:02:551:03:00

# We should always be together

1:03:021:03:07

# Until the end... #

1:03:071:03:10

There have been promises, and we hope they'll be realised.

1:03:101:03:14

I often say that I don't know why I was banned,

1:03:141:03:19

I don't see why I should be told what to do

1:03:191:03:23

after all these years.

1:03:231:03:25

As our leader Nelson Mandela said,

1:03:251:03:30

He will not be released from his prison

1:03:301:03:33

while his people are still in prison.

1:03:331:03:36

And then we heard this noise. And screaming, cars hooting.

1:03:381:03:43

People ululating and then we said, "Oh, my God, another June '76.

1:03:431:03:48

And then we ran to the security guy

1:03:481:03:51

to make sure that the doors are locked, you know?

1:03:511:03:56

And said, "Do you know what is happening outside?"

1:03:561:03:59

He said, "No, Mandela has been released today."

1:03:591:04:04

I have always wanted to come home, of course I couldn't.

1:04:041:04:09

But when President Mandela was released,

1:04:091:04:14

the whole world was waving in front of their televisions.

1:04:141:04:19

And I was one of them.

1:04:191:04:21

I was in Brussels when I saw him walk out of there.

1:04:211:04:27

I can't tell you how it felt. I just went on my knees.

1:04:271:04:32

And I prayed.

1:04:321:04:34

He then talked to me, and said, "You should come home."

1:04:411:04:45

SHE ULULATES

1:04:451:04:48

I don't have much of a family left.

1:05:101:05:13

My mother and my father died, but I have my brother.

1:05:131:05:18

He is my mother's first child. I am my mother's last child.

1:05:181:05:21

The in-between have also died in my absence.

1:05:211:05:25

When I came home for the first time I went straight

1:05:441:05:47

to my mother's grave and I sat on it and I talked to her.

1:05:471:05:52

I felt like I was sitting on my mother's lap.

1:05:521:05:55

And I talked to her and I told her how sorry I was that

1:05:551:06:00

I was not here to see her to her resting place.

1:06:001:06:04

And I felt very good.

1:06:041:06:07

It was the beginning of the healing of that wound.

1:06:071:06:11

THEY SING

1:06:151:06:17

SHE ULULATES

1:06:271:06:30

SHE SINGS

1:06:411:06:43

The public, the place goes wild when she went on stage.

1:07:091:07:14

I'm like, that's what I'm talking about.

1:07:141:07:17

And that is Miriam.

1:07:171:07:19

People in South Africa started to discover Miriam when she came back.

1:07:191:07:24

CHEERING

1:07:241:07:29

The exile have cut her from her people for so long.

1:07:291:07:33

But when she start singing, people know the song.

1:07:341:07:38

It is just like people you haven't seen for a while,

1:07:381:07:41

then you see each other and boom, the bond is still there.

1:07:411:07:45

# Mother Africa

1:07:451:07:49

# Unify us

1:07:491:07:51

# My precious Africa

1:07:511:07:55

# Unify us

1:07:551:07:57

# Don't divide us

1:07:571:07:59

# Unify us

1:08:011:08:03

# Don't divide us

1:08:031:08:06

# Unify us

1:08:061:08:09

# Don't divide us

1:08:091:08:11

# Don't divide us

1:08:111:08:14

# Don't divide us

1:08:141:08:16

# Don't divide us

1:08:161:08:18

# Unify us

1:08:181:08:22

# Don't divide us, don't divide us

1:08:221:08:26

# Unify us

1:08:261:08:29

# Don't divide us, unify us

1:08:291:08:32

# Don't divide us, unify us

1:08:321:08:35

# Don't divide us, don't divide us

1:08:351:08:38

# Unify us

1:08:381:08:39

# Unify us

1:08:391:08:41

# Don't divide us, don't divide us

1:08:411:08:44

# Unify us, unify us

1:08:441:08:47

# Don't divide us, unify us

1:08:471:08:50

# Don't divide us, unify us

1:08:501:08:53

# Don't divide us, unify us

1:08:531:08:56

# Don't divide us, unify us

1:08:561:09:01

# Unify us, don't divide us

1:09:011:09:04

# Don't divide us, unify us

1:09:041:09:07

# Don't divide us, unify us... #

1:09:071:09:12

But she had so much faith in the future of Africa

1:09:121:09:16

that when we came back to South Africa,

1:09:161:09:22

I didn't think that she was given the status that she deserved.

1:09:221:09:27

All the other African presidents were gone.

1:09:271:09:32

They were all gone that she knew.

1:09:321:09:35

The new ones were neo-Colonial, most of them,

1:09:351:09:40

and guardians of Western or Eastern interests.

1:09:401:09:45

But I think it broke her heart.

1:09:491:09:51

I think sometimes, somewhere, she realised that the African unity

1:09:511:09:56

that she had prayed for and sacrificed so much for

1:09:561:09:59

was not going to happen.

1:09:591:10:03

I feel that she's here, the pain doesn't go away,

1:10:031:10:07

but every day it gets easier.

1:10:071:10:10

I was angry cos I was supposed to be with her in Italy.

1:10:101:10:14

Immediately when I was supposed to get into the car to go with her,

1:10:141:10:17

there were people there she was like,

1:10:171:10:19

"No, Zenzi, I don't think you should go.

1:10:191:10:21

"I think you should stay."

1:10:211:10:22

She took Kwame, he was six months, she spoke to him

1:10:221:10:26

and then she gave me back the baby.

1:10:261:10:28

I give the baby to one of my little cousins, and she said,

1:10:281:10:31

"I need to talk to you."

1:10:311:10:33

She was already in the car and she said,

1:10:331:10:35

"I just want to let you know I love you very, very much.

1:10:351:10:38

"And I want you to know you need to be strong,

1:10:381:10:41

"you need to take care of my home."

1:10:411:10:43

And when she meant home, it's not material,

1:10:431:10:46

it is not about material things, home means, I understand it even now,

1:10:461:10:50

home means what everyone is going through for these past years.

1:10:501:10:54

It means everything.

1:10:541:10:55

I want you to make sure you take care of her legacy.

1:10:551:10:59

I will never forget the way she was smiling at us.

1:11:041:11:08

-When she turned around, you know?

-Yeah, yes.

1:11:081:11:12

She turns around and looks at the band, she was smiling,

1:11:121:11:16

like, in a way she was telling us, I love you.

1:11:161:11:19

The audience were saying, "Miriam, Miriam, Miriam."

1:11:191:11:23

And then she said, "Are we bowing?"

1:11:231:11:26

I said, "No, no, no. My children have to go tonight.

1:11:261:11:29

"We're not bowing." And then she left.

1:11:291:11:34

Just a couple of metres, she collapsed. And that was it.

1:11:351:11:41

My grandmother strictly said to me, "Zenzi, I do not want to be buried.

1:11:451:11:51

"I want to be cremated, and not for any religious reason

1:11:511:11:55

"and you must put me where the two oceans meet."

1:11:551:11:58

She always said it.

1:11:581:11:59

She said she wants to find her daughter, my mother.

1:11:591:12:03

And she wants to also be able to find all the other people,

1:12:031:12:07

all over the world that she met during her years of exile.

1:12:071:12:11

That's why she was cremated and put into the ocean, she wanted to flow.

1:12:111:12:15

# I shall sing

1:12:181:12:20

# Sing my song

1:12:201:12:22

# Make it right if it is wrong

1:12:221:12:25

# In the night, in the day

1:12:251:12:30

# Anyhow and anyway

1:12:301:12:32

# I shall sing, Lord.

1:12:321:12:35

# La la la la la la la la la

1:12:351:12:37

# La la la la la la la la la

1:12:371:12:39

# La la la la la la la la la

1:12:391:12:41

# La la la la la la la la la

1:12:411:12:43

# La la la la la la la la la

1:12:431:12:45

# La la la la la la la la la

1:12:451:12:46

# La la la la la la la la la... #

1:12:461:12:48

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

1:12:481:12:52

Storyville: documentary which takes a look at the life of South African singer and civil rights activist Miriam Makeba. Forced into a life of exile for exposing the harsh realities of apartheid, Makeba was the first African musician to win international stardom. Always anchored in her traditional South African roots, Makeba's music delivered messages against racism and poverty. Exposing a tumultuous life - Makeba married South African musician Hugh Masekela and Black Panther Stokely Carmichael - this film traces her life and music using rare archive of performances, interviews and intimate scenes.


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