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Show about South African singer, songwriter and anti-apartheid activist Dr Miriam Makeba, aka Mama Afrika, is coming to The New Wolsey in Ipswich and Diss Corn Hall





A show celebrating the life of an iconic South African singer, songwriter and anti-apartheid activist is coming to Diss and Ipswich.

Particularly pertinent as this month marks 30 years since the official end of apartheid, Mama Afrika: Hope, Determination and Song is a moving and spiritual account of the life of Dr Miriam Makeba.

Zimbabwean-born singer, musician and storyteller, Anna Mudeka tells the remarkable story of the woman who became known as Mama Afrika, charting her rise from the townships of South Africa to global star, forced into exile for her stand against apartheid and marginalised for championing Black rights.

Mama Afrika: Hope, Determination and Song with Anna Mudeka
Mama Afrika: Hope, Determination and Song with Anna Mudeka

Told in four acts that define critical stages of Makeba’s life, Mama Afrika chronicles the seismic personal and political events that came to shape the famous music and voice. With her knowledge of singing in many languages, including Swahili, Xhosa, Sothu and Zulu, Anna Mudeka’s solo performance navigates an epic story through well known songs, including Mbube, Pata Pata and Soweto Blues.

From a rising star exploding onto the international stage, introducing western audiences to African music, the show follows the story after the Sharpeville massacre sparks a political awakening and uncompromising stance against apartheid leading to Miriam Makeba’s exile in the United States.

Shunned by the American establishment for aligning with the civil rights movement and marrying a Black Panther Party leader, Stokely Carmichael, we find Makeba displaced in Guinea.

Mama Afrika: Hope, Determination and Song with Anna Mudeka is coming to Ipswich and Diss
Mama Afrika: Hope, Determination and Song with Anna Mudeka is coming to Ipswich and Diss

Her renaissance follows as Mama Afrika. Celebrated for championing the Pan African cause and welcomed back to South Africa in the 1990s where, together with the release of Nelson Mandela, her music continues to heal the soul of her homeland.

Anna explains: “Dr Miriam Makeba’s empowerment and pride in the African woman inspired many generations to follow their dreams and passion, including myself, her spirit still lives on through the gift of song. It’s a real honour and privilege to celebrate Mama Afrika’s voice.”

Mama Afrika died on November 9, 2008.

You can see the show at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, on April 18, see www.wolsleytheatre.co.uk, and at Diss Corn Hall on June 1, see www.thecornhall.co.uk