Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Another funeral that was held recently was for Mariam Makeba. She is a Grammy-award winning artist who has also won a few peace prizes as well (not Nobel). She died of a heart-attack, I believe, in Italy after a performance. You may have seen her guest start on the Cosby Show back in 1991 after returning to the country from exile in 1990 (Mandela asked her to come back). She was also in Sarafina (with Whoopie; she played the mother of Sarafina).

I think I first heard of her from watching “An Evening with Belafonte/Makeba” a live album recorded and video recorded back in 1966 for which she won a Grammy. You might know “Malaika” or “Pata Pata.” I first heard “In the Jungle” from her but in a style I’ve never heard in the States. Perhaps it’s the original African style, not the one that became popular in the States.

Because that album dealt with apartheid and speaking out against it, her passport was revoked in 1960 when she tried to go back to attend her mother’s funeral. In 1963 after testifying against apartheid to the UN, her citizenship and right to return were revoked by South Africa. Wow. She was offered honorary citizenships by 10 countries and has had passports from 9 countries. She’s the biggest internationally-known South African music star. And you can read more about her on Wikipedia.

The Christmas lights are up in downtown Cape Town. They’re quite pleasant and they are different from last year. I like that they change them and keep them new. For pictures go to one of my facebook picture pages.

Love in the Time of Cholera
I just saw this movie on DVD at a friend’s house. My goodness! They chose that actor Javier (don’t know his last name) who also did Goya’s Ghosts. He has a way of playing very pitiful characters that makes you hate the person or over sympathize. It can be hard to watch. The character himself was quite pitiful trying to feel the void of love with lust.

Slum Dog Millionaire
Go see this one! I enjoyed it. I had heard of it and didn’t realize I had. In South Africa we get movies 3 months or so (sometimes sooner) later than the U.S. release. So it hasn’t here in South Africa yet. But someone took me out to a movie when I arrived in the States. It’s not Bollywood if you dislike that (I think those movies are fun). But they do a funny B0llywood spoof during the credits (I think it’s a parody; I’m not sure). The story is about a boy who gets all the questions right on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” And before they can go to the final question the next day on the show, he’s questioned by the police for cheating. The movie shows how he knew the answer to each question which was (some would say) by pure random chance of events in his life. This is one of those movies that reinforce what people have always told me about those game shows. Sometimes it just so happens that the questions line up with your experience and it works—luck. Sometimes it’s completely out of your studying knowledge and experiential knowledge and you lose.


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