Mama Afrika: Hope, Determination and Song is a moving and spiritual account of the life of Dr. Miriam Makeba, the iconic South African singer, songwriter and civil rights activist and comes to Ipswich’s Eastern Angles Theatre (www.easternangles.co.uk) on 25th June.
Celebrating what would have been her 90th year, Zimbabwean born singer, musician and storyteller Anna Mudeka tells the remarkable story of the woman who came to be 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.
Told in four acts that define critical stages of her life, Mama Afrika: Hope, Determination and Song chronicles the seismic personal and political events that came to shape the famous music and voice. With her intimate 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, we follow the story after the Sharpeville massacre sparks a political awakening and uncompromising stance against apartheid leading to Mama Afrika’s exile in the United States. Shunned by the American establishment for aligning with the civil rights movement and marrying Black Panther Stokely Carmichael, we find her displaced in Guinea. Her renaissance follows as ‘Mama Afrika’; celebrated for championing the Pan African cause and welcomed back to South Africa in the 1990’s where together with the release of Nelson Mandela her music continues to heal the soul of her homeland.
Anna Mudeka’s musical and theatrical biography of Mama Afrika’s life not only pays tribute to one of the most iconic women of the twentieth century but is a deeply personal reflection of what an inspirational role model she continues to be for young African women determined to shape their own destinies and identities. Produced for family audiences, this story is one that deserves to be shared with younger generations and Mama Afrika: Hope, Determination and Song achieves this – staying true to the ancestral traditions from which her extraordinarily rich repertoire was born.
90 minutes including interval.
There are five tour dates throughout June:
14th June 2022 Norwich Arts Centre: norwichartscentre.co.uk
17th June 2022 The Africa Centre, London: africacentre.org.uk
22nd June 2022 Sheringham Little Theatre, North Norfolk:
23rd June Birmingham Mac: macbirmingham.co.uk
25th June Eastern Angles Theatre, Ipswich: easternangles.co.uk