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Miriam Makeba

  • If given a choice, I would have certainly selected to be what I am: one of the oppressed instead of one of the oppressors.

    • Miriam Makeba,
    • with James Hall, Makeba: My Story ()
  • ... there are three things I was born with in this world, and there are three things I will have until the day I die: hope, determination, and song.

    • Miriam Makeba,
    • with James Hall, Makeba: My Story ()
  • In the West the past is like a dead animal. It is a carcass picked at by the flies that call themselves historians and biographers. But in my culture the past lives. My people feel this way in part because death does not separate us from our ancestors.

    • Miriam Makeba,
    • with James Hall, Makeba: My Story ()
  • I have one thing in common with the emerging black nations of Africa: We both have voices, and we are discovering what we can do with them.

    • Miriam Makeba,
    • 1961, with James Hall, Makeba: My Story ()
  • ... age is other things, too. It is wisdom, if one has lived one's life properly. It is experience and knowledge. And it is getting to know all the ways the world turns, so that if you cannot turn the world the way you want, you can at least get out of the way so you won't get run over.

    • Miriam Makeba,
    • with James Hall, Makeba: My Story ()
  • African music, though very old, is always being rediscovered in the West.

    • Miriam Makeba,
    • with James Hall, Makeba: My Story ()
  • ... my thoughts are like quick little fish that swim out of my grasp.

    • Miriam Makeba,
    • with James Hall, Makeba: My Story ()
  • I'm not a politician; I am a singer. Long ago, they said, 'That one, she sings politics.' I don't sing politics; I merely sing the truth.

    • Miriam Makeba,
    • in The Los Angeles Times ()
  • Worry is interest paid on trouble before it is due.

    • Miriam Makeba
  • I look at the past and I see myself.

    • Miriam Makeba
  • I look at a stream and see myself: a native South African, flowing irresistibly over hard obstacles until they become smooth and one day, disappear.

    • Miriam Makeba

Miriam Makeba, South African singer

(1932 - 2008)