Miriam Makeba, DMus 2004
In Memory of Miriam Makeba - Gregor Rohrig (2003)
This morning I heard the sad news about the passing of Miriam Makeba, the Grammy Award-winning South African singer, also known as Mama Afrika. Makeba was the legendary voice of the African continent, who became a symbol of the fight against apartheid.
For a moment I stood still, starring at my phones’ screen feeling slightly shocked and overcome by sadness.
Miriam Makeba played a very important role in my life. I met her the first time in 2003, when she was singing on stage, on the sports grounds of Rhodes University, during my first photographic assignment. I was to document the event for the Student Newspapers, the Rhodes University magazine, and local press. It was also my first shoot with my brand new digital SLR – the Nikon D100, which was an unbelievable machine back then.
I was also one of the few who worked with a Digital SLR then, and especially in a small backward town like Grahamstown, this gave me the advantage of having the images on disc, distributed to my clients, and ready for print by the next morning.
It was from then onwards, that many assignments came flooding in, and it was that specific event that gave me the necessary self-confidence to work hard at what first was only a passionate hobby of mine.
I remember clearly, the evening Miriam Makeba sang, that the lighting was very bad, it was dark, and I struggled to take a decent picture. But I snapped and snapped and tried all kinds of functions, programs, and manual overrides to get a good image. And I remember the energy that came from Makeba, it was radiant, it was addictive, it was full of life, soul, and song - her stage presence was unbelievably powerful!
To visit Gregor's web page and view his wonderful photos of Miriam please click here
To view the Times Multimedia Tribute to Miriam Makeba click here