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Mika Kaurismäki, 2011
Finland/South Africa/Germany | Format: HDCAM | 90 minutes
In person: Bass player Bill Salter (April 11) and interview subject Kathleen Cleaver (April 13).
Miriam Makeba was the first African musician to win international stardom, one whose music was always anchored in her traditional South African roots, as was a ceaseless message against racism and poverty. Makeba was forced into a life in exile after exposing the harsh realities of apartheid. Singing for John F. Kennedy and Marlon Brando, performing with Harry Belafonte, Nina Simone and Dizzie Gillespie, being married to Hugh Masekela and then Stokely Carmichael, her life was a tumultuous one in which she always stood for truth and justice on behalf of oppressed people, most importantly for Africans. She tragically died after collapsing at a concert in November 2008 in Italy at the age of 76. This documentary traces her life and music through more than 50 years of performing. Co-presented by Okayafrica.