Angélique Kidjo has re-released the world-famous classic by the late South African music icon, Miriam Makeba, to raise awareness around the coronavirus outbreak.
Veteran Beninese singer-songwriter Angélique Kidjo, in collaboration with UNICEF, has re-released “Pata Pata” by the late South African music icon Miriam Makeba, in order to raise awareness around the coronavirus outbreak. Makeba or “Mama Africa” as she was also known, wrote the now world-famous song referencing a dance that had become quite popular in Johannesburg, South Africa, during the 60s.
Kidjo has kept “Pata Pata”, which translates from Xhosa to “Touch Touch”, the same in terms of its original musical elements. She has, however, changed the lyrics to include: “We need to keep our hands clean so ‘no-Pata Pata’…Don’t touch your face, keep distance please and ‘no-Pata Pata.'”
Speaking about the re-working the classic song, in the hopes of raising greater awareness around the coronavirus outbreak, Kidjo also describes how she drew inspiration from both Makeba and Manu Dibango. Dibango passed away at the age of 86 last month after testing positive for the coronavirus.
“Manu inspired me. Miriam inspired me. And Pata Pata gave me hope”, said Kidjo. “We all know what needs to be done, but we also know how much communities are suffering. “Pata Pata” has always been there for people at a time of struggle. I hope it helps once more. And I hope from our confined spaces we can dance once more.”