Struggling to survive after his father’s untimely death, Zenzile held multiple jobs and lived with different parents while his own mother worked multiple jobs to feed six children. Zenzile’s incredible musical talent, discovered while singing in church choirs, was nurtured by her musical family.
She joined a number of South African musical groups, including the Cuban Brothers and the Manhattan Brothers, the latter singing both South African songs and African American act tunes. Makeba then performed in the United States, using her platform to speak out against apartheid, which led the South African government to deny her return to her country for several years.
Throughout the 20th century, Makeba became not only a musical force, but also a political activist for the equal rights of the South African majority, as well as African Americans in the United States, becoming active in the movement. civil rights with one of her five husbands, Black Panther. Stokely Carmichael. Her marriage to Carmichael hurt her popularity in the United States even as she continued to advocate for justice.
Now, at 76 and in poor health, she performs to a receptive audience in Castel Volturno, Italy. As she sings, dances and talks with the audience, she sees the personalities in her life seemingly appear before her eyes before she collapses.
Other info: Kakoma does a masterful rendition of “Zenzi” Makeba, providing his own considerably resonant voice over the myriad of musical genres exploited by the expressive and naturally curious Zenzi. Somi’s charismatic stage presence is aided by the impressive efforts of a quartet of players who serve together in this two-act treasure.