AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Miriam Makeba

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Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Jazz in Cape Town

In Cape Town jazz here is not just jazz. It’s a whole lot more. For one, it is a dance style that continues to be the predominant feature of successive generations of Cape Flats families. Almost similar to what is called salsa in the Latino communities, jazzing on the Cape Flats is now somewhat of a tradition....

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Songs for Mandela: Weekend Music Break 64

This post combines Steffan’s wonderful playlist of South African tunes of and for Nelson Mandela and the international playlist we published when we first heard news of the great man’s death. When we sent around the AIAC...

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Songs for Mandela [South African Edition]

This is the South African edition of our selection of Songs for Nelson Mandela. Last night we posted the international edition and many of our readers asked if we’d forgotten about the many South African musicians who’d written...

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Apartheid in Manhattan: The International Center for Photography’s “Rise and Fall of Apartheid”

The International Center for Photography (ICP) is located in the heart of Manhattan, at the corner of West 43rd Street and the Avenue of the Americas. Nearby, Times Square’s mirages—brilliant expanses of neon fantasies, some spanning the...

Friday, October 12th, 2012

“To Bring the Beat Home”: Soul Power in Kinshasa

The opening scene: Soul Brother No. 1 dressed in a skin tight matador-cum-gimp suit, drop-kicking the mic, screeching, roaring, galvanising a Congolese crowd into pure hysteria, while chanting ‘I’m black and I’m proud’, so camp as to...

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

Weekend Music Break, N°19

Got caught up in other stuff yesterday, so this week’s Bonus Music Break comes a day late. “Sister Deborah” Owusu-Bonsu calls herself a “creative hustler” and yes, she is the sister of FOKN Bois’s Wanlov the Kubolor,...

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

The Legacy of Nat Nakasa

On a warm July morning in 1965, South African writer Nat Nakasa stood facing the window of a friend’s seventh floor apartment in Central Park West. In the distance he could likely just make out the outline...

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Classic African Films N°3: ‘Come Back, Africa’ by Lionel Rogosin

‘Come Back, Africa’ (1959) is an explosive film; a strongly political piece, its show the hardship, joy and pain of township life, otherwise closed to the world by the Apartheid regime's strict hold. Enriched through Lionel Rogosin’s...

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Film Review: ‘Come Back Africa’ (1959)

This film is exquisitely crafted and structured. The actors may be amateurs but, as Brecht knew, this is not the same as being bad, and there are several terrific performances in Come Back, Africa; performances that are...

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Paul Simon’s Graceland Reconsidered

2011 was the 25th anniversary of Paul Simon’s “Graceland.” I don’t have to remind you of the album’s significance. It is hard to imagine now the impact of that album, but it did a lot of things:...

Friday, January 20th, 2012

‘Mama Africa,’ the film

We suspect there’s a good chance this video would have been taken down by now if the proposed #SOPA law would have been passed. But since #SOPA’s not here yet: it is a recording (and an edited-down version)...

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Lionel Rogosin’s ‘Come Back Africa’

In January next year Film Forum will screen the restored film classic “Come Back, Africa” (1959) by the late American director, Lionel Rogosin. The screening will coincide with the 100th anniversary of South Africa’s ruling party, the ANC....

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Music / “Francophone Africa’s Achebe”

In January this year Chimurenga Magazine proposed a soundtrack for Cheikh Hamidou Kane’s 1961 novel, L’Aventure Ambigue, which they dubbed “Francophone Africa’s answer to China Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. The songs selected here follow Samba Diallo’s journey...

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Malaika

Rare footage of Miriam Makeba performing her standard “Malaika” (a Kenyan love song in Swahili) on Italian television in 1969.  Meanwhile, the song has been covered by a lot of people–like Angelique Kidjo, Boney M(yes Boney M)...

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Music Break

Among artists that need no introduction are The Noisettes, and their lead singer Shingai Shoniwa. Here they cover Miriam Makeba’s “Kilimanjaro,” then segue into their own “Never Forget You.” Bonus: you can download the entire session here....

Friday, June 18th, 2010

“This is That Tribal Rap”

We’re new to Chicago-based, Nigerian-American artist The GTW, whose brand-new mixtape, “Don’t Smoke the Cigarette,” was just featured in URB Magazine. Of interest is his song, “Pata Pata,” which samples Miriam Makeba’s iconic song. First impressions?

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

WTF

The late Miriam Makeba’s “Pata Pata” gets trivialized to sell Honda Accords. (I wonder who pockets the fee.) This kind of thing has been going on for a minute.