Grammy award-winning Beninese musician Angélique Kidjo has re-released a version of Miriam Makeba’s highly successful Pata Pata single to raise awareness on the coronavirus pandemic.
Pata Pata, which means “touch touch” in the Xhosa language, was originally released in 1967 and went ahead to receive massive airplay in the United States. It peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100.
A legendary and globally acclaimed award-winning musician in her own right, Makeba, popularly known as “Mama Africa”, passed away in 2008.
Kidjo’s rendition of the song was re-released by UNICEF on Thursday. The Wombo Lombo singer is also a Goodwill Ambassador for the organization.
According to UNICEF, Kidjo’s rendition has modified lines including: “It’s a time to “Sit it out!” This is ‘no-pata-pata… Stay at home and wait it out …..We need to keep our hands clean ….So ‘no-pata pata’…Don’t touch your face, keep distance please.”
Speaking about the song, Kidjo said she was inspired by her friend and legendary Afro-Jazz pioneer Manu Dibango. The Cameroonian sadly passed away on March 24 after contracting COVID-19.
“Manu inspired me. Miriam inspired me. And Pata Pata gave me hope,” she said. “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.”
“The best dance clips will be included in a music video to be released in mid-May,” they said.
Listen to the song below: