Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Nefertiti of Soweto: Brenda Fassie

Brenda Fassie

Brenda Fassie died in 2004 of cardiac arrest. But claims that cocaine was found in her blood and that she was HIV positive hung about.  Like Whitney Houston, another talented artist who passed away recently, Brenda Fassie, the continentally acclaimed ‘Madonna of the townships’ (Time magazine, 2001) led a scandal filled off-stage life that kept  many a mediocre journalist employed long past their prime.

She came up to Johannesburg from Cape Town as a teenager when apartheid was still unchallenged.  Her moving hit Black President was banned by the government but endeared her to millions of fans in the townships across the country.  Her fame spread quickly across Africa; her hits I am Not a Bad Girl  and Memeza (among a bevy of others) were immensely popular from Nairobi to Free Town.  She won multiple awards and dominated the charts for all of the 80s and much of the 90s.

She had a fiery, shit-kicking personality which led her to a cocaine addiction, serial affairs and a horrible experience of waking up in a run down shack in Soweto next to the drug addled corpse of her lesbian lover.  Amazingly she turned her life around and went on to record some of her biggest hits in the 90s.

Brenda’s music is 1980s nightclub music. But her voice is strong, the production top class and overall this is a great record of South African pop music. Black President, Jail to Jail, I am Not a Bad Girl, The Lord is My Shepherd…all standouts!

            Track Listing:
            01 Black President
02 Too Late For Mama
03 Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu
04 I am Not A Bad Girl
05 Boipatong
06 Jail To Jail
07 Ngiyakusaba
08 I Straight Le Ndaba
09 Yo Baby
10 Bump Bump
11 Heroes Party
12 The Lord Is My Shepherd
13 Black President [US Remix]


Anonymous said...

Thank Nate,

Love the blog - great selections, nice words.



ajnabi said...

Dogboy Ant!
Thanks mate!
Just a little oasis along the way.

Apurva Bahadur said...

Thank you Ajnabi for this lovely music from South Africa. Apurva from Pune, India.