A tribute to Lady Africa

2001-12-09 00:26

Johannesburg - The Princess of Africa, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, has just released an album dedicated to the late veteran singer Margaret Singana, and pledged to donate the proceeds of the sales to her family.

Singana died penniless last year after a music career spanning more than four decades.

At the time of her accident, the wheelchair-bound singer was no longer in the limelight as complications of her disease had set in.

Those close to her said she died a lonely death, divorced from the glitterati of her early music career and questions around why the once popular singer could die almost a pauper were asked at her funeral.

Various speakers at the funeral were enraged at Singana's financial status, but Chaka Chaka is one of the first to publicly do something proactive about her anger with her recent pledge.

Talking about her album, Kwenzenjani, Chaka Chaka was quick to point out that her nickname Princess of Africa was nothing compared to Singana's nickname "Lady Africa" for her great contribution in promoting African music.

"I have always wanted to do something for her because I believe she paved the way for all musicians in the country, especially women.

"This is a tribute that is long overdue."

The new album features three of Singana's famous songs including the popular We are growing - Hamba bhekile, covered in the Skaka Zulu television series soundtrack, I feel so strong and Where is the love.

Chaka Chaka said Singana's songs were timeless and had to be preserved as they represent where we come from musically.

She said although she released the album a bit late to catch the festive buying frenzy, her timing was okay as she had already carved a niche for herself and her music had a following.

Chaka Chaka said the album has a different touch and is also danceable, but she still maintained her identity so as to avoid confusing her fans.

She said the album was recorded at her studios, Chaka Chaka Music, and was produced by Gabi le Roux who also produces for Mandoza.

Chaka Chaka already has bookings for performances until next March and after that she plans a national tour to further promote her new album.