(Photo by Frans Schellekens/Redferns)
South African Poet Mandisa Vundla to Pay Homage to the Late 'Mama Africa'
Mandisa Vundla is set to release a collaborative poetry album this year which honours the legacy of the late veteran South African singer, Miriam Makeba.
Soweto-born South African poet and founder of the Poetry Zone ZA, Mandisa Vundla, is reportedly set to release a collaborative poetry album later this year titled A Love Song for Miriam. The poetry album honours the legacy of the late veteran South African singer, Miriam Makeba, who passed away thirteen years ago and whose birthday was at the beginning of this month.
A description of the upcoming poetry album reads as follow:
"The poetry album is a collaboration of poetry and music and is composed in Makeba's honor. Poems such as Black-Out, Uyinene, Bloody Alphabet and the likes, are dribbled between jazz, a touch of the blues and African sounds. The album lends voice to the current state of emergency where black lives and woman's bodies are under siege. It moves between making salutations 'For Gogo Ester Mahlangu' to probing how "black men want to fight for land without returning women's bodies from the places where they have stolen us." And continues to ask: "Whose job is it to teach the men that no grows its own body?""
While Vundla's poetry album will only be released around the middle of the year, she will release the same-titled single on World Poetry Day (March 21st). Additionally the poet has called on other South African poets including Lebo Mashile, Makhosazana Xaba, MoAfrika wa Mokgathi and several others to share the varied ways in which Makeba influenced them creatively. These stories are set to be archived on the Poetry Zone ZA.
Makeba's influence continues even almost a decade after her passing. The legendary songstress was certainly in the same league as fellow veteran musicians Hugh Masekela, Oliver Mtukudzi, Jonas Gwangwa (and multiple others)—all of whom have since passed away. Most recently, Makeba's "Pata Pata" was reworked by Beninese singer-songwriterAngélique Kidjo, in collaboration with UNICEF, in order to raise awareness around COVID-19 last year.
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