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Miriam Makeba Documentary Opening on January 19 at New York's IFC Center

Miriam Makeba was one of the first African musicians who won international stardom and whose music was always anchored in her traditional South African roots.

Forced into exile in 1959, Makeba sang for John F. Kennedy, performed with Harry Belafonte and Nina Simone and was married to Hugh Masekela and Stokely Carmichael.

Her life was tumultuous. She always stood for truth and justice. She fought for the oppressed, most importantly for black Africans, as a campaigner against apartheid. She died in November 2008 after a concert in Italy.

Mika Kaurismaki's documentary, Mama Africa: Miriam Makeba!, traces fifty years of her music and her performing life. Through rare archive footage of her performances and through interviews with her contemporaries we discover the remarkable journey of Miriam Makeba.

The film will premier on Friday, January 19 at the IFC Center in New York. Two musicians who played in Makeba's band for years will be on hand for Q&As: Percussionist Leopoldo Fleming on Saturday, January 20 and bassist Bill Salter on Sunday, January 21. Details available on the film’s web site