My thoughts about these 3 South African queens: Miriam Makeba, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Brenda Fassie.
Miriam Makeba is unarguably the most iconic one, hence the tag ‘Mama Africa’
Plus she’s the 1st black African to win a Grammy Award and a civil rights activist.
Her music is characterized by South African folk rhythms.
You feel the soul in her vocal harmonies like no other.
She’s the grand dame as far as Zulu/Xhosa music is concerned.
Most popular song ‘Pata Pata’.
Yvonne Chaka Chaka is fondly called the Princess of Africa.
To me, her voice is the strongest of the three and it exudes Black African pride.
Her most popular song is ‘Umqombothi’ featured in her third studio album, “Thank You Mr DJ” (1987).
She used her platform to rebel against the oppressive Apartheid government in SA.
Nelson Mandela wrote her a letter from prison, saying her songs kept him alive.
Yvonne has maintained a sweet image over the years and is highly respected for her social activism.
She seems to be the most likeable one.
Brenda Fassie was the bad girl of the three.
The Queen of African Pop was a great entertainer on stage. Her most popular song is ‘Vuli Ndlela’.
Her personal life was a big dent on her career.
Her drug habits was no secret. Brenda was often spotted ‘high’ and her diva behaviour always made the news. People deemed her to be wild, which is why despite her immense talent, she doesn’t receive the same level of veneration as Miriam.
However, she was the complete package in my opinion.
She sang about the struggles of the common man in South Africa (social activism).
She had a melodious voice and could easily switch from an edgy popstar to a softer traditional folk singer, showcasing her range and versatility.
She was a trend setter musically and fashion wise.
She was a fierce political activist.
You either loved or hated her.