“This project is a representation of the solitude and the greatness, according to my admiring vision, of talented women who have made an impact on me and appear to me as examples in my artistic, professional and personal construction.
Miriam Makeba symbolizes this woman’s strength in discretion, construction and perseverance in one’s quest for accomplishment.
The work and the greatness of most of these women were not known and recognized until late, often long after their suffering, their loneliness and their death, sometimes tragic, in the insensitivity and indifference of others”.
She was, unquestionably, one of the first international African icons.
When it comes to freedom of expression and dedication, Miriam Makeba has prepared the groundwork for us all, black women of Africa, aspiring to openness to the world and a real cultural mix; this mixity that promotes the differences, but do not standardize them.
My urge to narrate Makeba through an artistic piece made of lights, images, dance and music, certainly comes from my experience as a woman artist, mother, African but also European and in the end citizen of the world in this twenty first century.
25 years after the abolition of apartheid, the realities in South Africa are now different, with the necessity to find new solutions. Nelson Mandela or Miriam Makeba in 2020 would probably have different struggles to lead in new ways. However, there is one thing that has not sufficiently been improved : the complicated and difficult status of a woman of initiative, who has an ambition for change and progress.
Miriam Makeba could have been a political leader or a business leader, she would have always been the same, with the same obstacles to overcome, the same deep solitude because of the choices she made, with the same strength and the same femininity.
Some women have transformed their lives into a fight because of their beliefs, facing all the difficulties with humility, recklessness and tenacity. They have thus pushed for us the limits of women emancipation. They led this fight naturally, not by trying to demonstrate that a woman could “do what a man can do”, but by standing, with strength and determination, going against the mainstream, in the loneliness of their eccentricity.
This is a fight that only a few exceptional human beings among us are able to conduct, before leaving our world one day, leaving footprints of their dedication as benchmarks forever engraved in our history, our habits, our way to think and act.
The history of Africa in the world also bears the imprint of Zenzile Makeba alias Miriam, whose magnitude, depth and strength should be better known.