Miriam Makeba Was Yemaya

Miriam Makeba was Yemaya.

Miriam Makeba reminds me of
Yemaya in this video. Yemaya is the
Yoruba Mother Goddess of the ocean, and all living things. Yemaya is also associated with “Our Lady Of Regla”, the Black Madonna of Cuba. In this video, Mother Mary transforms into Miriam Makeba (Yemaya).

Yemaya by Sandra M. Stanton, and the Black Madonna by Ismael Saincilus.

Yemaya by Sandra M. Stanton, and the Black Madonna by Ismael Saincilus.

Yemaya is a healer. Miriam Makeba’s mom was a Sangoma [traditional healer]. Miriam too was one in a sense, not a healer with herbs, but with music.

Yemaya and Miriam Makeba.

Yemaya and Miriam Makeba.

Just like Yemaya, Miriam was motherly and strongly protective, and cared deeply for all her children, comforting them and cleansing them of sorrow. Yvonne Chaka Chaka is one of those children. Miriam used to help Yvonne with her children, and she used to cook for them. She also helped raise other people’s children when she was a domestic worker in the suburbs of Johannesburg.

“Makeba continued her humanitarian work through her Zenzile Miriam Makeba Foundation, including the Miriam Makeba Rehabilitation Centre for abused girls. She also supported campaigns against drug abuse and HIV/Aids awareness.”

Yemaya didn’t easily lose her temper, but when angered, she was quite destructive as the sea in a storm. When Miriam Makeba toured the world, she spoke out against the Apartheid regime, which agitated the South African authorities so much, that they banned her from returning to South Africa.

“Makeba addressed the United Nations’ General Assembly twice, speaking out against apartheid as a Guinean delegate to the United Nations (UN). The South African Apartheid government then revoked her passport and denied her the possibility of returning to South Africa”

Just like Yemaya, who was brought to the world during the Trans-Atlantantic slave trade, Miriam was brought to the World, through her music and activism, and she is now known and adored globally as Mama Africa.

“ Miriam Makeba was the first black musician to leave South Africa on account of apartheid, and over the years many others would follow her. Makeba took up refuge in London after the Venice film festival and met Harry Belafonte, who helped her to immigrate to the USA. In the early 1960s, she shot to fame in the USA overnight, and performed for former US President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden in 1962. Among her other admirers were Marlon Brando, Bette Davis, Nina Simone and Miles Davis.”

Yemaya enjoys dancing. When she dances, she begins slowly and gracefully but as she swirls and moves her skirts to reflect the rhythm of the waves, she builds up speed and intensity, showing her immense power. Miriam Makeba was probably channeling Yemaya when she was performing on stage.

When Miriam Makeba passed away, she was cremated and her ashes were scattered in the Atlantic Ocean at Cape Point, where Yemaya resides.

“She is a symbol of the emergence of Afro-Atlantic art and a voice for her people. Her life in multiple cultural and political settings–and her rich musical career, drawing on traditional and contemporary sources–have resonance for us all.” -Robert Farris Thompson

Read more about Miriam Makeba here, and Yemaya here.


2 responses to “Miriam Makeba Was Yemaya

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