SA Music Week Day Six – Miriam Makeba

Day Six: Miriam Makeba. I have a soft spot for the soft old music of the fifties and sixties, be it the early Beatles or Sakamoto Kyu. But this – this is a classic. You’d be hard pressed to find a South African who didn’t know this song, (and if they’re too young to have lived it, then it’s probably because it was featured in an advert for Bic Clic pens, which everyone and their brother uses).

Pata Pata epitomizes the glory days of old Sophiatown, a black township in Johannesburg that was the centre of jazz and culture and a sort of delicious hot smokey nights culture that flourished all too briefly before the residents were subject to forced removals and the area was renamed Triomf in a blaze of soul-wrenching irony.

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