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Angelique Kidjo Revamps Mariam Makabe Classic ‘Pata Pata’ for COVID-19 Awareness

Angelique Kidjo

Multiple award-winning Beninese music icon Angelique Kidjo releases her rendition of South African legend Mariam Makabe’s “Pata Pata” in conjunction with Unicef.

“Pata Pata” which translates from Xhosa to “Touch Touch”, was written by Makeba (Mama Africa) in reference to a dance that had become quite popular in Johannesburg, South Africa, during the 60s.

Kidjo, however, adds a creative spin to the song, emphasizing the need to avoid touching our face and other people through social distancing to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

Listen to the Makeba performing “Pata Pata” back in 1967:

Speaking on the release of her own rendition of the classic to sensitize people about the coronavirus outbreak, Kidjo described how she drew inspiration from both Makeba and Manu Dibango who unfortunately 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.”

Listen to Kidjo’s version of “Pata Pata” below:

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